Dimboola Tidy Town champion, Jan Ballard chaperoned Tidy Town Victoria judge Brian Winch around this year’s entries last Wednesday.
The busy schedule started at 9.00 am where Mr Winch met with Dimboola Town Committee president Phil Colquhoun.
The first job for Mr Winch was to meet Phil King and Emma Clark at the Riverside Holiday Park. Mr King spoke about the community engagement with local council to improve the park and surrounding areas. Riverside Holiday Park is entered in the Community Government Partnership category.
Next stop was the Dimboola Primary School which is entered into the Active Schools category. Brook Ward and Isaac Wren took the lead from Principal Greg Sampson and showed Mr Winch the now famous Fabulous Best project that was highlighted at the ArtIs Festival and around the Wimmera.
The group then was shown the art project the students were working on with teacher Mary French. Ms Ward then showed Mr Winch the re-use of cardboard boxes in the school. In the school yard Mr Winch was shown the mosque mosaic artwork the students had created on the wall of the school made from broken tiles. After showing the judge the garden, the students had created from old logs, Mr winch was invited to visit the vegetable patch the students manage.
Dimboola Memorial Secondary College was next on the schedule for Mr Winch, where he met with three impressive young leaders who have been doing large amounts of work around the school and the community, to improve the environment at school and the community they live in.
Will Eade, Ethan Clyde and Tom O’Dwyer took Mr Winch to look at the work they had contributed to the Avenue of Honour restoration. The boys were engaged in the community connection project where they had done work on the Avenue of Honour, Schneider Gardens and the gardens at the old courthouse for the Dimboola Historical Society.
The boys had also created garden beds around the school that will become improved spaces for students. Another project the students had undertaken was transforming the old department relocatable building into a recreation space for students. The old dilapidated building required a great deal of fixing. They had also made a boot cleaner from some scrap metal that was later revealed where the source of the scrap came from, when a steel grid lying behind the shed had a section missing.
The boys also showed Mr Winch the old storage shed they converted, from been a hiding place, to a useful resource around the school.
These projects are certainly impressive and the leadership of these boys highlights the vision they have for their environment and how they can improve where they study and live.
Teacher Lyndon Kuhne also pointed out how Ethan Clyde had made a contribution to the Dimboola Skate Park. The Dimboola Banner August 2 edition published a page one story on Ethan’s enthusiasm, when the plans were released. Mr Winch was given a copy of the story.
After a coffee at the cafe, Mrs Ballard then took Mr Winch to visit St Peter’s Lutheran School. Mr Winch was met at the gate by Olivier Riemann and Adele Bourke-Finn and escorted to the new sentry garden, to show how they have transformed the space into a peaceful environment, with the running water that trickles through the garden. Adele then spoke about the vegetable patch and how the students can just come and eat the raw vegetables, whenever they are feeling a little hungry.
Charles Rees was the next appointment with the Dimboola Returned Services League entry for Cultural Heritage category. The Dimboola RSL had taken on the huge task of restoring the Avenue of Honour and replacing the dying trees.
Bruce Donnelly presented the Dimboola Town Committee and the work they have done throughout the year in the Community Action Leadership category.
Mr Winch’s final task for the day was to meet with Ross Howlett, the president of the Dimboola Warreguk Dragon Boat Club to discuss the work the club does in looking after the river in conjunction with the traditional owners. The Warreguk members have again entered into the Clean Beaches and Waterways category, in which they won that category last year.
Last year Dimboola was nominated for seven categories in the Tidy Town Victoria competition only to lose the event to Horsham. This year Jan Ballard is hoping we fare better against our friendly rivals Horsham.