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New garden celebrates culture

Wilmot Rd Primary School has unveiled its new Koori Garden, celebrating their indigenous community members. The First Nations Koori curriculum co-ordinator Theresa Holland said we needed to recognise indigenous culture in every way. ”And with the Koori garden the whole school can participate in showing support,“ she said. ’The space wasn’t being utilised or recognised (before).“We thought it would be nice to make it an area which would raise awareness for the Aboriginal people in our community.“ During their NAIDOC Week celebrations, Ms Holland said the school had indigenous students talk over the speaker each morning, telling stories about themselves and their culture. ’We thought a nice way to culminate the week would be to open a new Koori Garden for the students,“ she said. At the opening, principal Jenny Manuel said the school was proud. About 300 students and staff gathered on the asphalt to hear the school captains give a Welcome to Country to kick off the ceremony. Uncle Colin Jnr performed a smoking ceremony for the kids. He warned that evil children could not participate, which was met with endless giggles. The space is full of native plants the children are encouraged to nurture, care for and watch grow. A sign in the garden reads, ‘Welcome Friends’ in a traditional indigenous language of the Shepparton area. ’We hope it will be a peaceful place where the kids can learn more about Aboriginal culture,‘ Ms Holland said. Natalie Campbell is an RMIT journalism student on work placement at The News.

Shepparton News




News

Fryers St Food Festival organisers sorted

The Fryers St Food Festival is set to be stronger and bigger than ever, with two new local faces joining forces for the popular event. Held for a fourth year, event organisers Liz Connick of Your Project Partner and Jamie Lea of JL Productions have partnered to create the entertaining festival in November. Having worked at several events in the past, Ms Connick said it was the first time the duo had combined talents to organise a festival together. She said the two had seen the festival evolve over the years and decided to get involved after seeing an expression of interest released by council looking for organisers. ’It’s a nice partnership, we’re both local, we’re both passionate about local food and the region and showcasing our CBD and Fryers St,‘ she said. Offering a plethora of food stalls, as well as market stalls and entertainment, the pair has also decided to add some new attractions, including a Friday night event in the Maude St Mall called ‘Flavours of the World.‘ ’It’ll be all about local multicultural food vendors,‘ she said. Other ideas include a table booking service for the Saturday night and the ‘Hall of Handmade’ which will allow home businesses to get involved selling their food, produce and crafts. ’There will be all the things that people traditionally know about the Fryers St Food Festival and we just basically wanted to have a couple of niche little zones,‘ Ms Connick said. Passionate about showcasing her hometown and Shepparton’s Central Business District, Ms Lea said she was honoured and excited to be involved in the festival. ’I wanted to sink my teeth into a project that meant something and highlight the work that happens here 365 days a week,‘ she said. Ms Lea also said it is more important than ever to support Shepparton’s local businesses. ’It’s a privilege to be able to have the skills to hopefully deliver something that has a flow on effect,‘ she said. ’We do food well, we do hospitality well, we have the venues, spaces and the places for everyone to enjoy and I’m excited to show it off.‘ City of Greater Shepparton mayor Kim O’Keeffe said she was delighted to learn Ms Lea and Ms Connick had been successful in obtaining the role of festival organisers. ’It’s great to welcome two new organisers in, bringing their different perspectives on the event,‘ she said. ’I’m very confident it’s going to be bigger and better and I’m excited to see what they’ll bring.‘ Applications are currently open for anyone interested in being involved with the festival. ’We really do want to stretch it out so that it is from Corio St, right through to Wyndham St so fingers crossed we get lots of applications,‘ Ms Connick said. All applications and expressions of interest can be sent to the Fryers St Food Festival Facebook page or online at

Ashlea Witoslawski




News

Shepparton’s new fish hatchery to provide 12 new full time jobs

Shepparton’s new native fish hatchery is set to offer 12 full time permanent jobs, with half of these supporting Indigenous employment. Minister for Fishing and Boating Jaala Pulford was in Shepparton yesterday for the announcement which will see up to six Indigenous positions created once the new hatchery is completed in 2022. Ms Pulford said the fish hatchery would provide local employment opportunities for people keen on a career growing Murray cod, golden perch, silver perch and freshwater catfish. ”Employing Indigenous people to grow native fish like Murray cod will provide valuable jobs for people around Shepparton,“ she said. ”This is a wonderful opportunity for Indigenous people who connect with fish to land a hands-on-job supported by industry experts and leading education institutions.“ To assist Indigenous candidates pursuing the positions, the Victorian Fisheries Authority will partner with Melbourne Polytechnic and Deakin University next year to provide education, training and development opportunities. Training will occur around Shepparton and online, as well as on-farm learning at the VFA’s Snobs Creek hatchery near Eildon, and at private hatcheries throughout Victoria. The two-year course will provide graduates with a Diploma of Applied Science, majoring in aquaculture, with the VFA currently exploring scholarships for high performing students completing the second year of the course to offer full-time employment. ”We are really pleased with the partnership with the local Indigenous community but also the innovative course work we have been doing with Melbourne Polytechnic and Deakin University so that people will have the qualifications and the skills that they need for what’s going to be a world class fish hatchery,“ Ms Pulford said. The fish hatchery is a flagship commitment of the government’s $35 million Target One Million plan to get more people fishing and to grow millions of native fish annually to boost wild stocks for recreational fishers in Victorian rivers and lakes. (bold) Indigenous people can register their interest in the training program by emailing [email protected]

Liz Mellino