Western Plains Regional Development

Funding success

• Vad Carey (Condobolin Community Centre), Heather Blackley (WPRD), Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton and Anne Coffey (WPRD) were all smiles last Thursday. Mr Coulton was in town to congratulate community groups on successful funding applications for Volunteer Grants. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

The Condobolin Community Centre will benefit from a $4,200 funding boost through the Federal Government’s Volunteer Grants program.
The funding will be used to purchase a reverse cycle air conditioner for the facility, which will be installed into the Pottery Room. Western Plains Regional Development assisted the Condobolin Community Centre in writing the grant application.
Community Centre spokesperson Vad Carey said the new air conditioner would enable the potters to be comfortable in both winter and summer.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton visited Condobolin last Thursday, to congratulate the Community Centre on securing funding.
“The grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 enable organisations, like the Condobolin Community Centre, to better support their volunteers by purchasing much-needed equipment, training and transport,” he explained.
“The energy, expertise and time our volunteers give to our community supports those most in need and represents what Australian communities are all about – giving a helping hand.
“I’m glad to see that local organisations in Condobolin and around the Parkes Electorate, will have this support to continue their valuable work.”

Seniors Week on the way

By Melissa Blewitt

There’s something for everyone during Senior’s Week activities in Condobolin from Monday, 6 March to Friday, 10 March.
Senior’s Week in Condobolin will give you the chance to make new friends or get together with old ones with a number of events planned.
The week will start off on Monday with Getting Connected from 10-11am at the Condobolin Library; and from 1-2pm at Western Plains Regional Development (WPRD).
Then on Tuesday, 7 March: Getting Connected will again be on from 10-11am at Condobolin Library; and from1-2pm at WPRD. Those interested can also attend a Seniors Lunch and Entertainment at Condobolin RSL Club. Make sure to be there at 11:30am for 12pm. The cost of the event is $5.
Wednesday, 8 March the community can get involved in Getting Connected from 10-11am at Condobolin Library; and from 1-2pm at WPRD.
Thursday, 9 March has a full schedule with Getting Connected from 10-11am at Condobolin Library; and from 1-2pm at WPRD; and HACC day trip to Orange for Elders Olympics. Transport for this event departs HACC Centre at 7.45am.
On Friday, 10 March residents can participate in Getting Connected from 10-11am at Condobolin Library; and from 1-2pm at WPRD. The International Women’s Day Dinner, which will showcase Nepal, will commence from 6:30pm at the Community Centre. All are welcome to attend. Tickets are $15 per person.
For more information call Western Plains Regional Development on 6895 3301.

The ugly truth about domestic violence

Peter Garrett, who did the voice over in the film and introduced the film at the launch, and Senior Constable Daniel Greef, LAC Crime Prevention Officer who assisted in the making of the film. MB

The Lachlan Domestic Violence Committee who initiated the film made by Earthstar Productions, with Peter Garrett and Daniel Greef. MB

 

Peter Garrett, Police, the Lachlan Domestic Violence Committee and Fran Dobie, with Amadeo Marquez-Perez, from Earthstar Productions who directed and produced the film.MB

Editorial by Melissa Blewitt.

‘Little Towns, Big Voices’ is a film that lays bare the ugly truth of domestic violence. It showcases the harrowing experiences of local people and the effects it has on their families. It is 28 minutes of raw and confronting truth, which portrays the brutality of domestic violence unflinchingly.

There is no other label, other than monster, that is befitting of the man who inflicted years of physical and mental torture on the woman, whose experiences are the main focus of the documentary.

The abuse began on her wedding night. “He had too much to drink and gave me a hiding,” she said in the documentary. From there it only got worse, and she tried to protect her children as much as possible. She recalled how one night, her husband “had too much to drink” and began arguing with the children about what was on the television.

“I knew what was coming, so I asked him to take it out on me instead of the kids. And he did.” She said he never really touched her face, but chose areas that could be concealed under clothing.

He was a “good looking” man, and this often blinded outsiders to the extent of his sadistic nature.

“When I went to doctors, they never once told me to go to the Police. I wondered later why they never told me to,” she said on the documentary.

If she was two minutes late getting home from work, he would have the masking tape sat on the top of the fridge waiting.

He would tie her up on a chair and inflict unimaginable horror on her body.

Not content with belting her, he would also throw steaming hot cups of coffee over her, as she lay in agony from the beatings.

There came a point where she became “dead inside”. There is no way many of us could understand what it feels like to get to such a point. Why didn’t she leave? “Where would we go?,” was her answer.

On the night she worked up the courage to leave, she took her daughter out of the front door and across the paddock and walked up the road. “I contacted my son, and he told me to hide in the grass, so he couldn’t find me. So I did.

He came and told me that his girlfriend was following him, and that we should get in her car, as he was going to sort him out.”

Not content with the mental and physical pain he inflicted, her husband burned the family home to the ground after she had gone.

“There was nothing left.” “It took the Police two days to find him, and when it went to Court his mother hired a barrister and he got off with 200 hours of community service.”

The fear of him returning haunts her every day. “He always said, if I left him he would come back and finish me. I have a local policeman on speed dial, because I believe he will.”

I want to congratulate the Lachlan Domestic Violence Committee on their brilliant documentary. It just goes to show what a DV Committee in a small town can achieve if it puts its mind to something.

This has been a 10-year long project, which began with a vision to create a film on domestic violence and the effects it has on women, families and children.

And now it has become a reality. What an amazing achievement. A special mention for Heather Blackley, whose determination and commitment ensured the project came to fruition. She is a community force to be reckoned with. Thanks must also go to Director Fran Dobbie, Producer Amadeo Marquez-Perez, Earthstar Productions, LAC Crime Prevention Officer Daniel Greef, NSW Police and Western Plains Regional Development.

It is hoped that a major network will pick up the film and get the message into mainstream media. The DV Committee is now also in the process of having the film put through the Australian Teachers of Media for a study guide, which will then be able to be implemented into all schools PD/H/PE curriculum. This was made possible by donations from Aboriginal Strategic Direction Crime Prevention Grant, NSW Police Force; House With No Steps, Forbes, Forbes Evening CWA Branch and Begderabong CWA Branch.

Domestic Violence can happen anywhere in any home.

It could be happening next door to you.

It took so much courage for this particular woman to come forward and share her story.

I ask, now that the community also have courage, and report any incidents of domestic violence to Police.

We must all speak up to ensure that those that need our help most, know that there is hope.

We must not hide the ugly truth of domestic violence any longer.

MB

Breaking the Silence

• Condobolin may be a small town, but it has big plans to help break the silence on domestic violence with a powerful documentary highlighting the stories of local people.The premiere of ‘Little Towns, Big Voices’ was launched by activist, and former Labor Minister, Peter Garrett in Condobolin, last Thursday. The stark reality of the impact domestic violence has on families and communities was showcased in the confronting 28-minute film. It unflinchingly lets local residents share their harrowing experiences of domestic violence. ‘Little Towns, Big Voices’ was the brainchild of the Lachlan Domestic Violence Committee, and it is hoped that the film will be a step in decreasing domestic violence Australia wide. MB 

By Melissa Blewitt

Confronting. Harrowing. Raw. Honest. Unflinching. These are all words that could describe the powerful 28-minute documentary, ‘Little Towns, Big Voices.’
It tells of the stories of several victims, men and women, who have been victims or witnesses to domestic violence. The material is shocking and at times distressing. However, the main objectives of the film is to create change and promote action on domestic violence across Australia.
The documentary was launched by activist, and former Labor Minister, Peter Garrett at the Condobolin RSL Club last Thursday.
An interview with Mr Garrett became the documentary’s narration. He believed he was already involved in the cause, and was the father of three daughters.
Mr Garrett said while he had long been involved in anti-domestic violence campaigns, he was moved by the stories of those portrayed in the film.
“It’s really good to be out here seeing this community joining together to lift the covers off domestic violence, which has been an issue for far too long. It deserves to be seen by as many people as possible,” he said.
It is a project that is the brainchild of the Lachlan Domestic Violence Committee, and has taken over 10 years to bring to fruition.
The Domestic Violence (DV) group started a basket weaving class to help women relax, provide a safe place to talk and learn a new skill.
“The DV group also had men and women from the Work For the Dole program at the same time making White Ribbons for White Ribbon Day (25 November). During these programs we had a vision to create a film on domestic violence and the effects it has on women, families and children,” Senior Project Officer with Western Plains Regional Development said.
She added the DV group, in conjunction with project partners NSW Police, had seen the need to break the silence on domestic violence.
Unfortunately, the three Local Government Area within the LAC are all in the top 20 NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) rankings for the reporting of domestic assaults. Forbes is ranked at 11, Lachlan at 16 and Parkes at 17.
Superintendent Chris Taylor said Police would not resile from using all the tools that they have available to bring perpetrators of domestic violence to account for their actions.
“Congratulations to all those involved in the concept and production of this very worthwhile endeavour,” he said at the launch.
“It is an excellent production, which although made here in Condobolin, is not location specific but applies right across Australia and has relevance as an education tool.
“Nowhere is immune from domestic violence. I wish the Lachlan DV Committee all the best in their production of this resource.”
It is hoped that a major network will pick up the film and get the message into mainstream media. The DV Committee is now also in the process of having the film put through the Australian Teachers of Media for a study guide, which will then be able to be implemented into all schools PD/H/PE curriculum. This was made possible by donations from Aboriginal Strategic Direction Crime Prevention Grant, NSW Police Force; House With No Steps, Forbes, Forbes Evening CWA Branch and Bedgerebong CWA Branch.

Condobolin’s fashion on show for summer

Fascinators, floating pastel chiffon caftans, sleek dresses and pants, heels to die for, fitness gear that could make even the laziest of bodies look good and a selection of giftware, cosmetics and accessories made the Summer Fashion and Giftware Showcase a smashing success.

• Cassandra Byrnes modelling an elegant chiffon floral cape teamed with black stretch pants from online fashion store Stranded Fashion. KP

By Anne Coffey

Fascinators, floating pastel chiffon caftans, sleek dresses and pants, heels to die for, fitness gear that could make even the laziest of bodies look good and a selection of giftware, cosmetics and accessories made the Summer Fashion and Giftware Showcase a smashing success.

Over one hundred people crowded into the Condobolin RSL auditorium on Saturday for an afternoon of fashion, shopping and fun.

The auditorium was decorated by WPRD Youth Services, Condobolin Preschool and Long Day Care and Lachlan Children’s Services.

The crowd enjoyed the wide range of beautiful local giftware and home-based business stalls and watched a parade of up-to-the-minute affordable fashion and accessories from our local fashion houses, all to raise money for the Lachlan Region Grants Program.

Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon was the very professional Carol-Ann Malouf, who delivered the introduction for each model and provided information on the Lachlan Region Grants Program.

As always, our local models excelled with Willow Bend Sports Centre models showing off some of their fitness routines. Eliza Buckland’s cartwheel made for a few jocular comments with Carol-Ann throwing out a challenge to others to do the same. “I’ll do one if you’ll do one” said Colleen Helyar in response. Models relaxed and shared jokes with the audience, adding to a great spirit of camaraderie.

After the parade, everyone had time to browse the stalls and enjoy canapés prepared by Leanne Hall from The Hungry Horse. Raffles were drawn and Lucky Spot, Colour of the Day and Best Dressed were announced.

With such a wide selection of quality fashion and giftware available, there is no need to go out of town to shop this summer.

 

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