Long distance neighbours make good friends
The Sire of Murrindindi, Victoria, celebrated the opening of MiRA the new Marysville Information + Regional Artspace, on 12 October, almost ten years after the town was destroyed by fire.
Shortly after the scale of Victoria’s 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires became known, Coffs Harbour City Council, New South Wales, established an appeal fund at the request of actor Russell Crowe and with the support of his friend, Australian basketball great Luc Longley.
In total, the ‘Russell Crowe, Luc Longley & Coffs Harbour City Council and Community Centre Bushfire Appeal Fund’ raised $500,000 for the town of Marysville from members of the Coffs Harbour community and local sporting groups and service clubs.
MiRA – developed in consultation with Murrindindi Shire Council, community arts groups and the Marysville and Triangle Business and Tourism Inc. (MTBT Inc.) is a transformation of the former Rebuilding Advisory Centre into a community and tourism hub.
It combines a gallery, museum, retail space for local artisan wares and produce, and performance and meeting spaces.
Murrindindi Shire Council Mayor, Charlie Bisset, said, “MiRA will support the continued delivery of community arts and cultural activities - we know how important these activities are in building community connectedness and resilience.
“Likewise, we feel confident that the partnership between the Marysville and Triangle Business and Tourism organisation and the community arts groups will provide economic and health and wellbeing benefits to the community for many years to come.”
Coffs Harbour Mayor, Denise Knight, sent a message for the opening ceremony on behalf of the Coffs Harbour community in which she wished the people of Marysville the best for the future.
“This is not a time for looking back, but a time for looking forward and celebrating the opening of the Marysville Information + Regional Artspace,” the message read.
“All those from the Coffs Harbour community who donated to the ‘Russell Crowe, Luc Longley & Coffs Harbour City Council Community Centre Bushfire Appeal Trust’ will be delighted to know that they have contributed to the establishment of what will be an exciting and vibrant space for your community and visitors.
“Marysville was forever changed in 2009: it will never be the same community it was before the fires, but it is now a new community and one that is characterised by resilience and togetherness.”