Icing on the Cake – Wheels on the bus

Comments (0) Susie Dunn

“The wheels on the bus go round and round” is a hit song with preschoolers … and rather a commentary on the way life rolls on.

The Armidale Regional Council has a new driver in Mayor Simon Murray, with his Deputy Dorothy Robinson. It will be interesting and important as they show us the route they choose to take us on and how efficiently we will get to our destination. Hopes are with this new team of Councillors – they have some great assets to work with in a complex time of tremendous challenge world-wide. We look forward to hearing their plans, hoping they’re realistic, forward-looking and imaginative and bring us all along with them. What an opportunity they have – building on freshened protocols – and challenged to take us forward to the next level. Public service bears great responsibility. Some who didn’t make it through the amazingly complex electoral process can still contribute to the community, perhaps on appropriate committees?

I do hope that sensible, do-able plans for the central retail areas proceed as a priority for the new Council. If we don’t show confidence in ourselves, how will we convince others? The Armidale Mall and its changed realities and functions affects the morale of the whole region. Healthy communities need hearts and new ideas need support. Thinking about responsibility (and changing the subject) how do you feel about the space race? Children grow up now with the idea of people whizzing around the galaxy, and many adults are entranced as well. Just throwing a tentative idea out  – I ponder when I hear casual comments that when Earth is uninhabitable we’ll migrate to another planet  (most of them looking remarkably unattractive). Why this casual acceptance that we’re going to ruin this wonderful, nurturing planet we’re already on? We live closer to nature than those in highrise city buildings, so we can surely see there are sensible choices to be made to avert such catastrophic consequences? Short termism on a few fronts isn’t a solution, and many fragments go to making up the overall jigsaw. Did you know that more than a million Australian birds are killed every day by cats? The web of life is complex and fragile.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch … I’m so pleased the Conservatorium is featuring jazz as part of its programming under NECOM’S new director, Russell Bauer. He has lots of ideas, plus collaborating with others in common projects, opening new doors. The schools here play an enormous part in the life of the region. TAS has commissioned an orchestral and choral composition, Soldier On, from Paul Jarman (premiered October 13/14), celebrating “compassion, service, friendship and unity”.

Steve McMillan has sent me estimated revenue from 2017’s sporting events to the end of September – $13,235,991. Not a bad economic contribution! (Guyra’s figures proving hard to get). In so many fields volunteers gain joy, unpaid but rewarded in a way that money couldn’t replace. Icing on the cake! With new migrants coming here soon adding a needed boost to our population, the gift of a greeting and a smile goes further than you can imagine.

The university, of course, is one of our most important resources and interaction maximises opportunities. Think laterally of new possibilities open to us and our businesses by accessing the community’s specialist knowledge up on the hill.

When talking racing with Rod Watt, Armidale Jockey Club President, he commented that the first recorded race meeting here was in 1841 – apparently “celebrated with Champagne and Sherry”. The indefatigable Carol Higginbottom and her CanAssist team are having their Melbourne Cup and Fashion Parade with all the usual bells and whistles at the Armidale Racecourse on November 7; tickets at Concepts (becoming our mini department store).

Tourism, of course, is something we need to know how to really use and offer. Take the initiative and benefit! I know I’m an unashamed romantic, but I always do like to see and share that sprinkle of stardust. And three cheers for some rain, underlining spring !

– Susie Dunn 

And how about Armidale’s five year old golfer, Isaac Riches!

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