Charles Darwin Open Day and Blues for the Bush

on 09 Oct 2013 

The CDR Open Day and Blues for the Concert  went very well and perhaps better than expected.

The Open Day attracted some 250 people comprising some who came for specific activities or events and others who were primarily interested in the concert but came early to check out what was on. The concert was a sell out with 700 people turning up for a long but entertaining night of great music.

The Open Day event was always our hardest to market to manage because it was a free event and as such subject to many on-the-day decisions about whether to attend or not.

We were surprised by the enthusiastic response to the tours of the Reserve on offer.  There were a total of 6 tours that were all full and provided a great opportunity for us to talk about the environmental work being undertaken in the Reserve. As far as community engagement efforts go this was hard to beat as we had the undivided attention of a bus load of people for the 70/90 minute tour of the Reserve.

The People and Place segment comprising a series of interviews with locals was very popular despite oral historian Bill Bunbury not being able to attend due to a bout of infectious flu. Geoff Cannon the ABC Mid-West broadcaster took his place at short notice but this did not seem to deter the crowd of up to 60 that gathered in the marquee to listen. These interviews were interspersed with very well received poems and yarns by members of the WA Bush poets and Yarn Spinners Association. Demonstrations by the Slow Food Network were well attended and the Food for Thought program aimed at the local farming community had a core audience that attended all sessions plus others who came and went depending on who was speaking. ProfessorTed Lefroy from the University of Tasmania was the most erudite but Catherine Marriott the 2012 RIDC Rural Woman of the Year drew the biggest crowd.

The children’s programs including the kite making workshops  and the real life fairys were very popular and underlined the importance of catering for all the family. Kids were entertained in a meaningful  and delightful way all day and night.

The concert was a relaxed and casual affair with everybody having enough space to spread a rug and enjoy food and drinks while listening to the bands. It was a beautiful evening with only a light wind so very pleasant to be outside in.

 To  see people dancing and enjoying company on the  front paddock of a BHA Reserve was indeed a delight.

This was indeed a team effort so thanks to all that assited and gave so freely of their energy and time.