An estimated 15,000 people will witness the skill and creativity of Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Community Development Program (CDP) participants when gates open at the 2017 Katherine Show this week.
As anticipation builds ahead of Katherine’s biggest annual event beginning on July 21, CDP participants from Barunga, Beswick, Mataranka and the remote community of Numbulwar have been applying the finishing touches to the construction and art pieces they hope will secure top honours in their respective show categories.
The entries include an eclectic mix of woodwork and art, and are expected to turn the heads of show patrons when they are unveiled.
Numbulwar participants have created stunning lamps, coffee tables, television cabinets and woomeras as part of a joinery project, and Builder Trainer Miguel Zahoran said he was incredibly pleased with how the men had embraced utilising recycled materials in their work.
“It’s been great working with the men and seeing them so active and keen with this project,” he said.
“They are very talented with the tools and it’s impressive to see how their skills and confidence have grown.
“I love to see how proud they are about their projects and the workshop we built together.”
The sentiment was echoed by participant Leroy Nunggarrgalu, who explained that the project had allowed the men to develop a new skillset, while using the show to offer patrons a glimpse at life in Numbulwar.
“There is a good environment in the workshop, where we can learn, have fun and enjoy our work,” he said.
While female participants in Mataranka have decorated cattle skulls with intricate artwork for the show, Beswick and Barunga participants have built clocks, and a one-of-a-kind bar using old pallets.
The bar will be hard to miss at the show, as it features transparent inserts that can be backlit.
Barunga participant Travis Tiati said he couldn’t wait to see the reaction of patrons when they saw the bar.
“We wanted to do something different,” he said.
“It will be good to let people at the show see what we are doing in Barunga.”
The Council’s CDP Regional Manager, Janelle Iszlaub, urged patrons to take the time to look at the participants’ creations while soaking up the atmosphere of the show.
“The Community Development Program is about finding employment for participants, but it’s also about helping them develop the skills and self-confidence they will need in the workforce, as well as undertaking projects that build the capacity and pride of remote communities,” she said.
“Show organisers have said there will be more than 15,000 people attending this year’s Katherine Show, so I can’t think of a better way to build that pride than by letting everyone who comes through the gate see what amazingly talented participants Council has.”
The Council runs CDP projects in its Local Government Area on behalf of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The Federal Government initiative assists jobseekers in remote communities to find employment as they contribute to their communities and gain new skills in the process.
View the full Media Release here.