OORANGA Family Mobile Resource Unit will celebrate its 40th birthday in November and the committee has sent out a call for any stories, memorabilia or photos to go on display.
This momentous occasion will be celebrated with a high tea, on Friday, November 29, when a new edition of the Ooranga and Friends Cookbook will be released along with historical displays.
Ooranga Executive Officer, Rebecca Dridan, said the high tea will be a celebratory event, with past presidents of the organisation to be invited as 'Ooranga Royalty'.
"A Teddy Bear's Picnic planned for the Thursday before the high tea as an excursion for Ooranga preschools. The Picnic will be open to all Ooranga members as well as the wider community," she said.
The celebration will mark 40 years since the inaugural meeting of the first committee, enthusiastic about the idea of bringing supports to families with young children located in outlying areas surrounding Gunnedah.
An Aboriginal word for "a gathering of children" was chosen for the resource unit and Ooranga came into being.
After years of lobbying and applying for funding, the organisation finally broke through with a grant of $55,000 from the NSW Department of Youth and Community Services, making way for the purchase of a one-tonne van packed with toys and preschool equipment, a preschool teacher and a social worker.
Based at Gunnedah, the unit initially travelled to Boggabri, Curlewis Carroll and Premer to provide play group and preschool activities.
Ooranga has gone from strength-to-strength, expanding its preschool and playgroup sessions and opening a very popular toy library in its premises at the CWA Rooms, becoming the largest stand-alone mobile preschool service in NSW.
Planning for the celebration is in the early stages but the committee is keen to hear from past members and to gather stories and memorabilia.
Rebecca Dridan can be contacted at Ooranga (112 Barber Street), phone 6742 0603 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org