Success Stories in Moira

Aboriginal art on show in Moira
2012/08/08 | Sophie Bruns

An exhibition of art work exploring the connection of Aboriginal people to the Riverina’s red gum country has opened at the Barmah Forest Heritage and Education Centre in Nathalia. With over 20 works on show the display is nothing short of amazing and features works from Dennis Baksh, Allan McKenzie, Cory McKenzie, Jilalaga Murray-Ranui, Norman Stewart and Kevin Williams. The Riverina Red Gums project explores the artistic cultural connection between the artists and the Riverina Red Rum Reserves (National and Regional Parks) and features mediums including painting, photography and sculpture. Executive Officer of the Country, Culture and Heritage Division in the Office of Environment and Heritage Norman Laing said the six artists were mentored by two established artists in their own right: William (Badger) Bates, is a Barkindji (Paakantji) man from western NSW and Djon Mundine OAM, is a Bandjalung man from northern NSW. “The River Red Gum Forests have supported Aboriginal people for over 30,000 years by providing food, fibre, shelter, tools and medicines,” he said. “Today the Red Gum Forests continue to provide a strong sense of belonging and this is evident in every piece in this exhibition.” The ‘Expressing Cultural Attachment Through Art’ project began in 2010 and culminated in a touring exhibition that has travelled to Griffith, Echuca, Deniliquin and Mildura. The project is funded by the NSW Government, Office of Environment and Heritage Aboriginal Park Partnership Funding Program. The exhibition concludes in September. The Barmah Forest Heritage and Education Centre is an appropriate place to host an exhibition of this calibre because it also features the fascinating and diverse history of this iconic region. Learn about local indigenous history, the timber industry, woodcutters, riverboats, leech and feather collectors, cattlemen and more –all in an easy going style that educates and enlightens. From pre-history to the present day, learn of the struggles and be amazed at the achievements of our forefathers.  

Farmers rise above floods
2012/06/02 | Sophie Bruns

It has been a roller coaster ride for Rebecca and Andrew Phillips since they left the New Zealand dairy industry for Australia 11 years ago. During that time they have battled floods, droughts, the Gloabl Financial Crisis and yet they still remain positive about the future of the northern Victorian dairy industry. “I am not leaving until we get some better years, surely things can only get better?” Andrew said. While the recent floods were the latest in a long line of things that have gone wrong, The Phillips still remain positive. They are mindful that while flood water covered nearly every inch of their 129 ha property bar the house, dairy and tanker lane, there were others in the area who suffered far worse them. “We managed to save 22 ha of pasture. The cows are grazing that during the day and they are being lot fed at night. We were about to sow our annuals so we didn’t lose any of them although we did lose 23ha of perennials.” The Phillips’ continued milking their cows at home throughout the flood event which has really helped with cash flow. “The cows spent four days on the tanker track and on the dirt of an uncompleted feed pad. We had 70 odd bales of sub hay which got damaged but we were able to stand them on their damaged ends and feed them out. Their diet was pretty ordinary for a few days and of course they dropped in production. It took them a week to respond once they were fed some decent silage and hay.” Andrew said today the cows are milking really well and he expects to continue lot feeding at night for another month. “We have resown everything on the farm including our 30ha of dry land. This will be a real advantage in June because over the last few years our dry land hasn’t fired at all.” The tinge of green now covering the paddocks is welcome sight. Rebecca and Andrew are part of Murray Dairy’s Focus Farm Project and the help they are receiving from the group is enabling them to continue moving forward. “We have 12 highly skilled people in our group and we have had a lot of support. We have been bouncing ideas off each other and we will continue to follow the plan we made with the group prior to the flood- it will just be a month later.” “The $25,000 grant will be extremely helpful too. At the beginning of the flood I really thought our throats had been finally cut but the reality is we have had to buy extra months worth of feed. There are others hurt a lot worse than us. “

Lucerne grower pioneers new process
2011/05/12 | Sophie Bruns

Running a cut back up his bays has enabled Darryl Lukie to grow lucerne on paddocks that were once deemed to flat.

Nathalia unites to beat flood
2012/05/01 | Sophie Bruns

Moira Shire Council Mayor Alex Monk has praised the efforts of emergency services, personnel and community volunteers from across Moira Shire who helped during and after the March flood. The community as a whole pulled together and responded as a united front with help from the SES, and a host of other emergency service agencies.   “‘Volunteers throughout the Shire came from near and far to sandbag, provide moral support, ensure a hot meal was available and simply lend a hand, and I thank these people for the contributions they made throughout Moira," Ms Monk said. Nathalia’s own Flood Protection Project which was implemented a number of years ago, served its purpose of protecting the township. .The jointly funded project by Moira Shire Council, State and Federal governments, included the construction of new levees, improvements to existing levees, pump installation to allow stormwater to be pumped from the protected area of town, flood modelling works, the installation of gauging stations at Nathalia and Walsh's Bridge (which were connected to the internet and viewed at the Bureau of Meteorology website) and the installation of demountable flood barriers. The flood barriers, valued at just over $500,000, were designed and constructed by an Australia-German company and used for the first time to protect the town during the current floods. The barriers totalled 467 metres in length and were installed at four sites - the Murray Valley Highway (closed in two locations), Railway Street and Weir Street (to fill a section of the levee). "There was insufficient space in Weir Street to construct a large earthen levee, as was provided for most of the town, so the demountable barriers were chosen for this location as part of the Flood Protection Project implemented a number of years ago," Cr Monk said. "Barriers can be easily erected and removed once the flood has passed and do not interfere with the aesthetics of the town, which was important for the picturesque town of Nathalia. "The barriers have certainly provided a simple method to prevent flood water travelling along the road and entering the town." A Recovery Centre is operating from the Nathalia Sport and Community Centre, Robertson Street, Nathalia, to assist those affected by flooding.  

Bio -dynamic dairy farmer finds a market
2011/01/30 | Sophie Bruns

The only farmer of his kind in Victoria has found a niche market supplying milk to the Bio-Dynamic marketing Company

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