Investing in futures
THE resounding success of the Education Foundation’s Art Exhibition and Auction has ensured that the youth of Coonamble will continue to be assisted in their pursuit of educational opportunities after leaving school.
The committee worked tirelessly to ensure that all art pieces were displayed to advantage and that attendees were treated to a very special evening out. The showground pavilion looked a treat – a gallery equal to the best.
There was a total clearance of the 51 art pieces exhibited. A large percentage of the works were donated by local artists and the Coonamble and District Education Foundation are very appreciative of their generosity. There were also several donations from artists from outside the district – from Bourke to Tamworth, Sydney and the Southern Highlands to Mungindi. A big thank you to all – the works were very diverse and created great interest among the 150 strong attendees. (Please go to the advertisement in this edition for a complete list of the generous artists who donated their works)
Of the 51 objects d’art up for auction, four were sold via a live auction. The auctioneers extraordinaire, David Thompson and David Chadwick, along with their trusted spotters, had heads nodding and fingers lifting at a frenetic pace. The four items raised a handsome $3,600 for the Education Foundation. A big thank you to the artists, the art loving purchasers and the auctioneers.
The remaining items were sold under the rules of ‘silent’ auction with bids written on clipboards near each art piece. There was a lot of friendly banter between members of the crowd as they vied for their special pieces. When the whistle blew to signify the end to bidding, the Foundation had been gifted another $12,000. An amazing result, thanks to the generosity of the artists.
With MC, David Taylor, at the helm, the event proceeded without a hitch. A highlight of the evening was David interviewing four past recipients of Education Foundation assistance.
Luke Brown, told of his appreciation for the help he received to complete his builder’s apprenticeship and of his plans to continue his trade for 12 months in England next year. More than the financial assistance, it was the fact that the Foundation cared and encouraged him that mattered.
Raymond Happ was determined to become a teacher and this year he has been teaching geography, history and maths at Coonamble High. His enthusiasm for his work and his obvious love and respect for his local community was a delight to hear. He said the Education Foundation had enabled him to complete his studies, especially with assistance to cover practicum expenses.
Sam Turnbull explained that the Outward Bound Leadership camp that she attended as a 17 year-old, courtesy of the local Education Foundation, was life changing for her. It gave her the courage to move to Brisbane to secure work and later study to become a teacher. She now teaches as a special education teacher at Coonamble High.
After a couple of years’ study, Brendan Swansborough was a little disenchanted with the finance world, so made a switch to advertising. Working in advertising has been a real buzz for Brendan, the pinnacle being the opportunity to work on the Budweiser ad for the American Super-bowl.
On return from New York, Brendan has worked in Sydney and has recently moved to a new position in Newcastle. Brendan said the Education Foundation and the people of Coonamble were instrumental in encouraging him to pursue his dreams.
Major sponsor for the event was the Coonamble Aboriginal Health Service, with the committee thrilled to partner with this service. The committee of the local Education Foundation are firm believers that health and education are the keys to a happy, fulfilling life.
Local generosity continued with the gold sponsor packages taken up by the Coonamble Bowling Club, Greentree Farming, Halcroft & Bennett and AJF Brien. The junior sports clubs Little Athletics, Rugby League and Cricket joined forces to also purchase a joint gold sponsorship package. Silver sponsors were AG n Vet, Coonamble Rugby Club, Conex Services, Elders, Coonamble Cellars and Landmark. The foundation’s committee are very grateful for the support of the local business and sporting community. (To see a complete list of sponsors and Friends of the Foundation, please refer to the accompanying advertisement)
The raffle of two nights’ accommodation at “Midgee Cottage” in Mudgee and dinner for two at The Wineglass Restaurant was kindly donated by former Coonambalite Anne Johnston.
The committee of the Coonamble and District Education Foundation would like to thank the community for supporting this major fundraiser. An early tally points to a nett result in excess of $25,000. This wonderful boost to the Foundation’s funds will enable many more young people of the Coonamble community to prepare for a successful future.