The spirits of the Liverpool Plains have been buoyed amid the ongoing drought.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) hosted a delegation of almost 200 people from its sister city of Blacktown and abroad for three days of community activities in Quirindi to strengthen ties.
Events included the Hangi Youth Games, International Youth Connect Forum, Hangi in the Country and a free children’s concert with Play School’s Alex Papps. Charity youth organisation Rap 4 Change also visited schools in Quirindi and Walhallow to run workshops ahead of the weekend.
The sister city events were funded by Blacktown City Council (BCC) and LPSC’s general manager Ron van Katwyk said the “generosity was overwhelming”.
“Having the Blacktown community visit us was hugely heartening to our people at a time we’re battling through one of the worst droughts in living memory and their generosity was overwhelming,” Mr van Katwyk said.
BCC also gifted the shire with a 10,000L water tanker worth $30,000, individual donations and $8000 from Blacktown Lions Club to the Quirindi Country Women’s Association drought relief fund.
“The people of Blacktown during the current drought crisis have been a pillar of strength to us,” Mr van Katwyk said.
“Despite the demographic differences it has spawned strong friendships and we are incredibly grateful for the support Blacktown City Council and its community offers its little sister across a range of issues.”
It is the second year the sister cities have partnered for the Hangi in the Country, which is “a fantastic example of social and cultural exchange, people of diverse backgrounds coming together, making new friends and having a good time”, according to Mr van Katwyk.
The events are the result of many man hours by LPSC’s tourism manager Nikki Robertson and Blacktown City Council’s sister city coordinators Gordon Allen and Greg McCallum.
“A fantastic effort has resulted in a weekend that many of us will remember fondly and treasure the friendships made,” Mr van Katwyk said.
- Want to see more photos from the weekend? Click here.