Art heralds Foodbowl Festival

By Country News

Celebrating 10 years of local produce and community spirit, the Numurkah Foodbowl Festival continues to inspire people to get involved in showcasing their town.

As scarecrows begin to crop up, more art will start appearing soon thanks to the efforts of students from Numurkah Secondary College and Year 11 VCAL student Aislinn Harrison.

After joining the school this year, Aislinn was inspired to make a difference and become involved in the community.

‘‘I got involved because it was a good cause for the community and the school, as well as a good way to get involved and get to know people better,’’ Aislinn said.

When she found out about an opportunity to support the festival while achieving her academic outcomes, she was more than happy to help.

During the past two terms, Aislinn has been working on a special art installation involving plastic lids and fishing line.

With the help of other students, she has been working hard to create streamers to showcase the festival’s message of sustainability and recycling.

The first streamers were installed across Numurkah yesterday, with many still to be hung in the coming weeks.

‘‘I’ve never been to the festival, so it’s good to be a part of it,’’ Aislinn said.

Aislinn’s VCAL teacher Keith Ward said it had been great to see her take a lead in the project.

‘‘She has been a very positive addition to our school and has put in a lot of work,’’ Mr Ward said.

Numurkah Foodbowl Festival director Jamie Lea has appreciated the support of the secondary college in creating a ‘‘lasting legacy’’ for the town.

‘‘As part of our strategic plan, we’re hoping to create a legacy at the festival every year that will help people remember and keep them coming back,’’ Ms Lea said.

‘‘We want to make a giant mural next year and are looking forward to continuing to grow and evolve.

‘‘The school has been very receptive and we want to engage the young people because the next generation is so important.

‘‘We want them to feel a connection to not just the festival but to Numurkah.’’

The Numurkah Foodbowl Festival has put a big emphasis on being green this year, with future hopes of eradicating single-use plastics from the festival altogether.

This year a ‘‘green team’’ will include volunteers posted at each of the bins, helping educate visitors about their waste and recycling.

There will also be the opportunity to hire plates, cutlery and cups for a gold coin donation at the local kindergarten.

‘‘We’re hoping to slowly but surely change the mindset of our attendees by starting small, doing it right and doing it well,’’ Ms Lea said.

In another first for the festival, Melville St will be closed and stalls will be set up on the road.

Ms Lea is encouraging the whole town to get involved in the parade at 2pm to celebrate the 10-year anniversary.

‘‘Numurkah is a very humble, very unique, beautiful town and 10 years is a big deal,’’ she said.

■The Numurkah Foodbowl Festival runs from Friday, October 19 to Sunday, October 21.

—Ashlea Witoslawski