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Community & Business

18 November, 2022

GROW Community Expo

Playing host to Gilgandra’s surprising array of services, the GROW (Guiding Rural Outback Wellbeing) Community Expo graced Hunter Park earlier this month.

By Emily Middleton

Many of the services and agencies that Gilgandra has to offer, set-up stalls and interactive experiences for the event allowing the community to wander through, explore, and enjoy. 

Only a few months previously, a GROW Community Expo also came to Gulargambone, showcasing how the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) program is being executed at Gulargambone Central School. 

This GROW initiative at the school includes the use of aquaponics (mixed fish, vegetable farming) to engage students in learning and improved mental health. 

While this program is currently on pause at Gilgandra High, the expo did give the community the opportunity to explore other services the RFDS and the community has on offer. 

Gilgandra Youth Services coordinator Monica Mudford explained that they are part of the Interagency Group in Gilgandra, with the expo hoping to highlight what services are available. 

“When the RFDS got on board with interagency, we put our minds together,” Mrs Mudford explained. 

“They were already running the GROW program, so we thought, why not use it to our advantage and have the Expo here in Gilgandra?” she added. With the pandemic lockdowns over, it was the time to work together, she believes. 

“So, not only is this for the services to get together to collaborate, but to get to know each other face-to- face.

 “Especially after two years of COVID-19, it’s hard to know who’s who. We want to bring back the person- al aspect of it, it’s good for the community too.” 

 The initial date for the expo was, however, postponed due to rain, but with the sun shining on the later held event, everybody enjoyed the day out. Students from both the local schools and preschools especially appreciated the activities set-up for them, including a jumping castle and laser tag. 

Balloons were also a hit amongst the children and the free barbecue lunch, provided by the RFDS, was hard to resist. 

Mrs Mudford said that a few services were unable to make it due to flooding and prior commitments, but reit- erated how fortunate Gilgandra is. 

 “We are very, very lucky with so many services, and this is only some of them,” she said. But how good is this? We even had the CWA and Men’s Shed come - out, it’s just been a lovely community day!”

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