Hallett's future is what we make it!
Since inception, FRRR has provided funding for culture, tourism, arts, history and heritage across rural, regional and remote Australia. In the final granting round before the CATCH program went into hiatus in the middle of last year, the Hallett Community and Sports Association (HCSA) received funding to implement a project that epitomises the essence of this valuable granting program.
Situated on the Barrier Highway linking Adelaide with Broken Hill, HCSA sought funding for the design and construction of a Wodli, an artistic installation and contemporary interpretation of an Aboriginal shelter. They received a $15,000 CATCH grant to design and install a Yellaka, a traditional Wodli shelter for the 21st Century.
The Wodli was designed by Aboriginal elders in consultation with the Hallett community to generate interest and bring visitors to the area to appreciate the Njadjuri heritage in an interactive, respectful and exciting way.
The project delivered a range of benefits to:
- Locals, with the increase in tourists visiting and spending in the town, and re-connecting with the Aboriginal heritage of the area
- Visitors, who will appreciate a hitherto untold aspect of the region's cultural heritage
- Aboriginal people, by creating a more accessible connection to country.
It was a big job to make this happen, including the demolition of an unused building in the centre of town and upgrading this space as a car park and lawn area with gardens and picnic shelter that reflected the Aboriginal and post-colonial heritage of Hallett. The Aboriginal Shelter cost $28,525.86 which was funded by FRRR and a grant from the Regional Development Australia Fund.
The project has had a significant impact on the town – creating a positive effect on community pride and involvement. Importantly, the project has engaged people who previously were not involved in town activities, through input in the consultation period, in helping with the working bees to get the site up and running, and more recently in mowing and maintaining the area.
They have harnessed this community engagement and obtained other grants to install new toilets adjacent to the picnic area, wayfaring signage, and irrigation and trail bike facilities at the picnic site.
The Aboriginal Shelter has become a catalyst for a shift in community attitude: "Hallett's future is what we make it".
Hallett Community and Sports Association feedback: “We thought the design of the grant application and reporting processes was excellent. It didn't require pages of 'tick box' information, the questions were logical and allowed us to explain what we wanted to do, and what actually happened. This is a good model for other grant programs.”