Bellata’s ‘Film Society’ a boost for all
Bellata is a rich agricultural region situated in prime cotton growing country in northern New South Wales, some 10 hours’ drive north of Sydney.
At the heart of this small community of just over 400 people is the Bellata War Memorial Hall, which plays host to most of the town’s gatherings and main events, including ANZAC memorials, plays, family dances, second hand goods auctions and most recently, film nights.
Over the last two years, this iconic hall has received a major facelift, with both the exterior and interior receiving a new coat of paint (its first since 1956!), as well as new gutters, doors and repairs to paneling and other odd jobs. The Hall’s Committee of Management and the community are actively working together towards developing a funding model to support the hall’s maintenance requirements, and in turn, support increased social capital and community connectedness.
Part of this plan was the introduction of the Bellata War Memorial Hall Film Society, membership of which gives individuals and families entry access to regular movie nights, and a source of income for the Hall. A $5,000 grant from the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program, funded by the Monsanto Fund, went towards the purchase and installation of a movie screen and projector, and the Hall has recently funded a new sound system, improving the acoustics and enjoyment for all.
Committee member Bronwyn Johnston reports that membership of the Film Society numbers around 80, and said that these small changes and additions to the hall mean so much to the community.
“The Bellata residents are beginning to look at the hall as an asset to the community, with some even volunteering their time to mowing the grass and helping out with hall functions. Our committee has increased to 10!”, she said.