The nurturing nature of small communities was on full display this week in the Kiewa Valley. Independent member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, spent a morning in Mount Beauty before joining more than 120 women at the International Women’s Day lunch in Tawonga. Ms McGowan said the lunch was a celebration of the role played by women of all ages in the community.
Mount Beauty Secondary College Year 12 student Jessica Powell was a guest speaker and provided everyone with an example of the adage ‘It takes a whole village to raise a child’.
“Jessica spoke about how safe she felt in the local community; it was a talk that touched everyone in the room, and gave everyone great pride in the work being done to include young people,” Ms McGowan said. “It was wonderful to hear her explain how she felt cared for in the local community. This experience will help Jessica confidence to use her voice and reach for her goals.”
The IWD lunch theme ‘intergenerational inclusiveness’ was chosen as a direct result of a Kitchen Table Conversation in 2015. Mount Beauty Secondary College Global Politics students identified a lack of interaction between generations in the area. This led to Year 11 and 12 students being invited to the event.
“Congratulations to the organisers for hosting such a successful event, and making our young women feel part of the community,” Ms McGowan said. “People rated diversity and connection as one of the biggest themes in the Kitchen table Conversation process. I am delighted to see communities including this through being inclusive at local events.”
As part of the Kiewa Valley visit Ms McGowan visited the Mount Beauty Community Centre and received a warm welcome to the Mount Beauty Men’s Shed. Ms McGowan was given a tour of the recently-opened facility by president Dick Puttyfoot.
Residents raised a number of issues with Ms McGowan during the visit. These included:
- Local health service delivery
- Mobile phone coverage
- Cycling access on the Kiewa Valley Highway
- Future of the ABC and broadcasting to regional areas
- Retirement village options
“Kancoona has been included as a Round Two priority in the Mobile Phone Black Spot Programme,” Ms McGowan said.
In a meeting with Alpine Shire Council, Ms McGowan was informed council would submit two applications to Round Three of the National Stronger Regions Fund for streetscaping projects in Myrtleford and Porepunkah.