The resilience of the people who call Julia Creek home is something to be admired and next month, the region will host a special “Fun Day”, as the tight-knit community looks to bounce back from the devastating floods that had ripped through the small country town.
The family friendly event will be held on April 6 at Kev Bannah Oval and kicks off at 3pm, with a rugby league clinic taking place in the afternoon.
Emergency service organisations will also be running a wide array of games for the kids, such as an egg and spoon race, a slip ’n’ slide and a jumping castle.
It’s not just fun for the kids either, with the local graziers offered the chance to reconnect with old friends over a cold beer; with the bar running throughout the night as well as a barbecue and live music.
The night is set to raise much needed funds for a town and its surrounds, who in recent times have endured not only drought, but now floods and devastating stock losses in recent weeks.
As well as being the Sport and Recreation Officer for McKinlay Shire and President of Julia Creek Combined Sporting Association, Kalan Lococo believed events such as these were a great way for the community to come back together after tough times, and to have an enjoyable time together once more.
“After the floods, we just want to give the community the chance to reconnect, bring everyone back together and share a good evening to take everyone’s mind off things; as well as that, we are going to try and raise some money for the flood recovery efforts, by auctioning off some NRL memorabilia which the QRL have organised for us through the Cowboys and Blackhawks,” Mr Lococo said.
Having seen firsthand the devastation left behind by the recent floods, Mr Lococo believed the upcoming events for the town would help the community forge stronger bonds, as they looked to rebuild.
“It is such a tightknit community ... I was involved with the fodder distribution during the flood, so I have seen the effect is has had on these people,” he said.
“(So) if we can give them an opportunity to come together for a night, or weekend and share a laugh and a couple of beers and a good time, we can get everyone back together and keep moving forward.”
There is a busy schedule of social events for the local community to look forward to, with the Community Fun Day not the only upcoming event taking place in Julia Creek.
The town’s annual ‘Town v Country’ match will take place later this year; and Mr Lococo believed it would help bring the community together once more.
“We have our local Town v Country match which is an annual event, where the towns’ people versus the station people, and they play for a bit of pride and bragging rights for the next year. Most people make a weekend of it which is good for the economy and small business,” he said.
Having played matches against Hughenden and Richmond in the mid-west competition last year, Mr Lococo is hoping that rugby league can continue to grow in the region as it continues to play a significant role in bringing its community together to grow as one.
“As long as we focus on building a strong junior base – that’s extremely important for our long term future … after the flood there isn’t probably going to be a lot of jobs for younger workers due to the stock losses; but there’s a good crop of young fellas around the town at the moment along with a few old heads.
“We can start with a good core group and as people move to town, we can become a strong force in the mid-west again.”
More information about the upcoming events can be found at the Julia Creek Combined Sporting Association page.