There’s been a huge amount of ground covered in Bowraville in the past 12 months to aid the healing process from the wrongs of the past.
And on Friday the key players gathered together to sign off on a commitment to keep that progress going.
Local State Member Melinda Pavey and officer-in-charge of the task force, Carolyn McNally met with members of Jaanymili Bawrunga (gathering Bowraville) Community Reference Group at the Bowraville Recreation Centre (The Rec) to sign off on the Bowraville Solution Brokerage Response Plan.
WATCH: A walk-through of the new Community Health Centre
The response plan is the final step to a strong negotiated agreement between government and the community.
The aim is to find practical solutions to issues and priorities identified so far at community barbecues, workshops and youth forums that have been held over the past 12 months.
“We have been working closely with the community and across government to improve services and capacity in Bowraville,” Ms McNally said.
Craig Doolan, chairperson of Jaanymili Bawrunga, said they had highlighted four key priorities for funding and attention in Bowraville: affordable housing, youth programs, holistic health and education.
I’ve been in Bowraville all my life. I’ve seen its issues and I’ve seen how the community can come together and lift itself up.Craig Doolan
The delegation of dignitaries which also included community elders, Miimi leaders, the mayor and local councillors, and representatives from the Local Health District made a pilgrimage around Bowraville to inspect some of the major accomplishments to date.
They visited the Families Memorial at James Park, MiiMi Aboriginal Corporation and Allied Health Services facilities and had a walk-through of the new Bowraville Community Health Centre that is set to open in the coming weeks.
And Melinda Pavey and Rhonda Hoban, along with help from the local children, turned the first sod of the skatepark redevelopment.
WATCH: As Bowra kids and Mel Pavey turn the first sod at the skatepark redevelopment
Local skaters were happy to see the redevelopment get underway.
“We usually go to Macksville—it’s better to travel five minutes to Macksville than stay here,” David Voutier said.
“But when it’s redeveloped, we’ll stay here.”
“It’s gonna mean a lot to me ‘cos I skate here every day—it’s my passion,” Michael Kennedy said.
Further improvements include an increase in mental health services over the past six months, an extension to the Youth Hub funding, and improved accessibility with Community Transport.
And Ms McNally is currently negotiating with the Prime Minister’s office to secure federal funding for Miimi.
I didn’t dream that we could achieve as much as we have in the past 12 months.Carolyn McNally
“But this is a community that really knows what it wants.
“And we need to continue to deliver the services that we’ve been promising.”