Round the town with Nola – January 31

Noongar elder Joe Northover gave another unique Welcome to Country at this year's Australia Day awards. Photo: Ashley Bolt
Noongar elder Joe Northover gave another unique Welcome to Country at this year's Australia Day awards. Photo: Ashley Bolt

Back to school

School resumes next week, so local motorists need to remember the 40kmh speed limit in the vicinity of schools.

As the new intake of young children occurs, there will be many excited children crossing roads, so just be aware and keep your eyes out for them.

To all the new teaching staff posted to Collie, welcome to our town, we hope you enjoy your time in Collie and appreciate the warm and friendly atmosphere here.

There is plenty to do whatever your interests may be.

We have the river and inland lakes, and lots of bush with attractive wildflowers.

Bike trails and walking trails meander around the town and through the bush, so you can get to know your way around.

We are still in a prohibited burning season, so please be aware of the fire risks.

As the school year starts, our many local sporting and social organisations will be back in full swing, so get a local directory printed by the Collie Chamber of Commerce and Industry for a handy guide of what our town has to offer.

Retired miners

The Retired Miners' Association will meet at the Collie Bowling Club on Monday, February 4 at 11.30am.

The meeting will be followed by a sausage sizzle, so please put your names down at the Union office by Friday February 1 for catering purposes.

Your partners are welcome at this event.

Old and new members very welcome, hope to see you there.

Museum visitors

The Coalfields Museum's decision to extend its opening hours during the school holidays, and offer free admission for children accompanied by an adult, paid off with more visitors taking advantage of these opportunities.

Both locals and people from out of town checked the displays in increased numbers.

However, one visitor on Sunday did surprise the volunteers on duty.

A willy wagtail flew in to check out the upgrades which have been achieved.

He had a good look around, no doubt looking for any photos of ancestors and former habitats, then returned to the serious business of chasing insects.

The opening hours and admission fees return to normal next week.

Morning tea

Fairview Primary P & C is hosting a small morning tea on the first day of school, to welcome all new and existing parents and guardians.

After dropping off your child or children, make your way to Room 1 to renew acquaintances and make new friends.

Business connections

The next in a series of information nights about the future of business in Collie will be held at the Collie Ridge on Wednesday, February 6, from 6pm to 8pm.

The session is free, but you need to register online.

See the Business Connections Facebook page.

Community meeting

I was saddened to hear that the community meeting held last Friday was marred by a few people disrupting proceedings.

Collie has had a history of the townspeople getting together to overcome adversity, and this is the spirit we will need as the town transitions to the future.

I did say last week that this was a chance to have a say and make a difference, rather than just start an argument.

Unfortunately, not everyone wanted this to be the case.

Ask yourself was it helpful and in the best interests of Collie?

Art Gallery

Only a few days left to see the "Elemental - Land-Layers-Life" exhibition which continues at the Art Gallery until February 4.

The work is by Perth-based artist Carol Rowling.

It explores the landscape from above, to present a different point of view.

If you haven't had a look at it yet, the Gallery is open Thursday to Mondays, 10am to 4pm.

You can also chat to the friendly volunteers about what courses and workshops are being offered in 2019, sign up as a member, and/or become a volunteer.

Australia Day

What a great occasion the Australia Day breakfast was - congratulations to all those involved in its organisation.

It is a pity when the timing brings about a long weekend, as many people choose to take advantage of this and go away, meaning the crowd was down.

They missed a particularly inspiring speech by the 2018 Young Citizen of the Year Lauren Jackson, and the timely recognition of many of our volunteer firies and other volunteers.

Collie is lucky to have so many people contributing in a wide range of categories, congratulations to all those recognised on this occasion.

As MC Ian Miffling said, if you know someone who could have been honoured, write their names in your diary and be sure to nominate them next year!

Not everyone can win, but being nominated is an honour in itself.

What an asset to the town we have in Noongar elder Joe Northover.

Joe always brings a touch of his own charisma with his stories and singing, and his Welcome to Country this year was no exception.

Thanks to the cooks who got up early to prepare the breakfast, and to Collie Community Radio's technical manager Ben Menaglio, who was there at the crack of dawn to set up the sound system and radio equipment for the live broadcast.

Litter

Last summer, swift action by local people resulted in Black Diamond being cleaned up after the Australia Day long weekend brought hundreds of visitors to the picturesque spot.

Please do not litter, we do hold the title of the State's Top Tidy Town, and the National judge will be visiting Collie on February 21 and 22 to have a look at the many projects and improvements around town.

It would be good if there was absolutely no litter for her to see!

If you go camping or picnicking, collect your rubbish, bring it home and dispose of it thoughtfully.

We live here, and we want to keep it clean.

Have your say

There is still time to comment on two Council plans, for Minninup Pool and the report on an indoor heated pool.

If you cannot go on line, call in to the Library, where the ever-helpful staff can point you in the right direction.

Take the time to read what is proposed, think about it, decide how you feel about it (much better to do this when you have the information than rely on hearsay), then tell the Council what your views are.

Fairy wrens

One of the delights of living in Collie is the blue splendid wren, or fairy wren as they can be known.

If you are interested in these beautiful birds, you may like to go to www.fairywrenproject.com and find out how you can contribute to information about them.

The project is looking at fairy wrens all over Australia, and gives details of how you can send in your sightings.

Our family has always had an interest in fairy wrens, and some of Bob's photos of the blue splendid and the red-winged wren are included in the Australian Bird Index.

Send it in

Items for not-for-profit organisations are welcome for this column.

You can email information to me at nrg@highway1.com.au by 5pm on Mondays.

Please include a contact name and phone number in case I need to check information.