The race that slows the nation - the big city comes to Wedderburn

on 06 Nov 2015 

Working in and with our local communities is an incredibly important part of the work that we do here at Bush Heritage. Plants, animals, fire, air and water move across our landscapes without any regard for fence lines and boundaries so good relationships and cooperation are the soul of every small community and key to healthy landscape management.

On Monday our Victorian Reserve Manager Jeroen Van Veen and a small group of Bush Heritage Staff and Volunteers were given the opportunity to meet many of our neighbours, community members, local councillors and peers while showcasing the work of Bush Heritage in the Wedderburn region.

It all happened thanks to Fox FM's Hamish and Andy who selected Wedderburn to host the ‘Race that Slows down the Nation’, Australia’s richest horse suit race and touted as the inaugural warm up race to the 'more famous' Melbourne Cup.

Wedderburn is a small community of 500 people who have been deeply affected by the drought and is home to our Nardoo Hills Reserves. This wonderful event drew a crowd of 7,000 people to the community and gave it national exposure thanks to the jovial duo of DJs.

Our team were overwhelmed by the interest in Bush Heritage’s work and we were able to provide the community and their children with sample bags, Bush Heritage colouring sheets, Bush Heritage animal swap cards, and information on how they could support conservation not only in the region but across the entire country.

Jeroen, a long time resident of Wedderburn, commented on the number of new neighbours he met for the first time who had recently moved to the area either permanently or to manage a weekend block. One new resident commented that 'the local shire promote conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in the region and this is what has drawn me to Wedderburn'.

After the morning's festivities Hamish and Andy led the community street parade to Donaldson's Park where there were fashions in the field, live music from Birds of Tokyo and Jessica Mauboy, local food and craft and one very, very proud Wedderburn community.  

The day was branded a huge success by Mayor Gavin Holt and Jeroen was thankful to our volunteers Sam and Ivan and the rest of the Bush Heritage Team for their support, photography and showbag packing – both on the day and in the lead up to this terrific community event.