COMMUNITY ties is what bonds the Wattle Hill community together.
This was evident during a special Reconciliation Week event that also showcased the community’s recent work at Gossamer Park.
Once known as a dark and often troublesome area of Wattle Hill, the park has grown to become much more than that thanks to partnerships between residents, Leeton Shire Council, the Local Aboriginal Lands Council and more.
As a result of those organisations and various others the park has been brought to life with new playground equipment and a barbecue area.
Members of the community have worked alongside council to get the work done, which has allowed them to feel a sense of pride in their work and that particular area.
Council’s manager of library, culture and community Penny Davies was pleased to see the community taking on ownership of the area.
“The rejuvenation of Gossamer Park started with the installation of new playground equipment and a barbecue, table and seats,” she said.
“These were the items the community identified as their priorities. Council is currently working with Rotary to install a light into the park, which will mean it can be used for longer hours than it can currently.
“The idea is that there may be some night footy or the like. Next up is the community garden (at the park).
Community members, school children, mayor Paul Maytom and representatives from the stakeholder groups all enjoyed putting the facility to the test last week at the Reconciliation Week event.
“It was a sheer delight to see so many happy, energetic children running and playing in the park.” Ms Davies said. “It was equally delightful to see the park full of people talking, laughing, playing with the children and coming together around the barbecue.
“It is clear the community value the ‘new’ park and take pride in it. To be working with people who have a vision to achieve something and are eager to put in the work that is needed to realise that vision is always inspiring.”
Planning for the community garden is well underway, with Marty Fernando from the Aboriginal Men’s Group and councillor Maytom turning the first sod at the event. Mal Henman and Stephen Smith from Intereach will be working with the group to design, build, plant and maintain the garden.
“It’s a fantastic initiative and I’m pleased to see so much wonderful activity happening in Wattle Hill,” Cr Maytom said. “In the past it has been given at times an unfair reputation, but that’s all changing. It is a wonderful community.”