Girgarre’s ‘human symphony’ featured on national television

By Geoff Adams

Girgarre's recovery from a decline in social activity has been described as a human symphony of people coming together.

The small dairy farming town south-west of Kyabram last week featured in an ABC documentary, Back Roads, presented by Heather Ewart, who grew up in the Goulburn Valley.

The half-hour program focused on the town's success with its annual Moosic Muster and its monthly music gatherings, while also pointing to other innovative ideas the community had implemented to give the town strength.

The backdrop to the invigorated community was the millennial drought, the decline of the dairy industry and the rationalisation of farms which led to a declining population.

When teacher Jan Smith first arrived in the town she desperately wanted to "escape".

But after a year she fell in love with a dairy farmer, who she married, and her loathing turned to loving.

“All of a sudden, this town became pretty special to me,” she said.

The town has developed a range of attractions, including a musical trail, the regular music festival and market and outdoor sound shell. The community is working on a rail trail and a botanic garden.

The ABC program features a number of local identities, including former dairy farmer and now sculptor, Wallace Williams.

The show, episode six of the current series, can be seen on ABC iview.