Poetry in the park: grant funds an intergenerational enhancement

Boyup Brook is a small rural town situated in the south west of Western Australia. It is a low income town with the economy based on primary industry. Every year it hosts the Boyup Brook Country Music Festival which attracts approximately 17,000 visitors over four days. The Festival includes West Australian Country Music Awards, a Ute & Truck Muster, a Street Carnival, concerts, workshops and a Bush Poets' Breakfast.

Focussing on the whole community

This being the 30th year of the Festival, The Country Music Club of Boyup Brook, comprising of 12 volunteers, applied to FRRR for a $7,500 grant from its Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA) program for the Bush Poets element of the Festival. The funds were granted with support from the McCusker Charitable Foundation. The Club wanted the Festival to be truly intergenerational by making it an accessible environment for the seniors of the local community. Nearly 20% of Boyup’s community is comprised of people aged 65 years and over. 

Poetry in motion

The older generation love Bush Poetry because it’s something that they can relate to and reminisce back on past moments. During the week of this year’s Festival there were numerous free Bush Poetry events that seniors could go to, which included the Tennis Club showcase, a workshop on writing and performance, walk up stage with an open “mic” session and the opportunity to meet Bush Poets from WA and Interstate. “Two Short Sheilas”, multi-award winning entertainers Melanie Hall and Susan Carcary, did a magnificent performance of “Why Doherty Died” with the help of Sid who volunteered from the audience.

Sharon Winter, Music Director of The Country Music Club of Boyup Brook, wrote to FRRR extending “sincere thanks and gratitude to FRRR for the tremendous support shown for the Festival and the Poetry in the Park. You have helped to make the 30th year of celebrations a huge success.”  

“We had a band of amazing volunteers, and incredible community spirit shown throughout the week.”

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