Get on board!
The Lake Bolac community in the south-west dairying region of Victoria had a long-term goal to acquire a community transport solution for school students and other community groups in the area.
Appeal Co-ordinator Karen McIntyre explained: “This community has always wanted our own mini-bus - it has been a goal in all our Community Action Plans since 2002. With the help of Murray Jensen from the Central Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network in Ararat, who chipped in the first $4,000, we formed a fundraising committee and started the appeal rolling.”
And roll it did! The community response was incredible, and a transport project partnership was formed between the school council, Lake Bolac Development Association and the Lake Bolac Bush Nursing Centre.
The Lake Bolac College identified that it was spending between $7–10,000 each year on hiring buses, and that investing these fees into purchasing and maintaining an actual vehicle would make good economic sense. The Bush Nursing Centre also needed a small bus to transport clients to specialist appointments and social outings. The Kindergarten expressed an interest in the use of a bus, committing $5,000 to the project, and local sporting clubs indicated that they would be likely to hire the bus to attend away games and functions.
In less than 11 months the appeal raised a very impressive $56,267.98 enabling the bus purchase, on road costs and sign-writing.
Many groups will benefit from the bus including the Bush Nursing Centre clients, the information centre volunteers, the kindergarten, sports teams and especially rural students. The bus will also enhance the ability to supplement College curriculum and extra-curricular programs by being able to attend an increased range of venues at a reduced cost.
College fundraising accounted for 15% of the final tally, with the balance from local community groups and organisations, individuals and corporate sponsors. The FRRR / Gardiner Dairy Foundation: Working in Dairy Communities program donated $5,000.