RURAL AID INCOMING: Monto Magic Tourism Action Group president Melinda Jones and The Rex Monto Ltd chair Carly Burnham at filming for Monto's entry into Rural Aid's 10 Town Makeover Initiative. Picture: Alex Treacy.
RURAL AID INCOMING: Monto Magic Tourism Action Group president Melinda Jones and The Rex Monto Ltd chair Carly Burnham at filming for Monto's entry into Rural Aid's 10 Town Makeover Initiative. Picture: Alex Treacy.

Initial steps begin for Monto’s Rural Aid makeover

FOUR community events have been scheduled for the Monto community to have their say on their $100,000 Rural Aid makeover.

Ten towns in Australia were recently selected for a complete makeover courtesy of Rural Aid Australia, with Monto and Gayndah given the chance to alter their destiny.

A total amount of $100,000 over five years will be given to each town, partnered with 50-100 volunteers over a week to assist in projects decided by the community.

These consultation events will allow community groups, businesses, farmers, and residents an opportunity to voice their ideas, and will take place from January 30-31.

The Rex Theatre Ltd's Carly Baker-Burnham is eager for the first steps to begin, with small town renewal specialist and consultant Peter Kenyan leading the community events.

"Part of the $100,000 is the $10,000 for community consultation and the action plan," Mrs Baker-Burnham said.

"Peter will be facilitating all of these conversations and events that will help the community to think about what the issues are, and what we're facing."

The community will then look at what they have according to Mrs Baker-Burnham, such as their natural assets and community resources, and how they can reimagine them.

"It's a real co-creation of the community, it's not just about what one person wants, but bringing out what the community wants," she said.

Filming for Monto's entry into Rural Aid's 10 Town Makeover Initiative.
Filming for Monto's entry into Rural Aid's 10 Town Makeover Initiative.

The leadership group, who were responsible for the application, come from different sectors of Monto's township, and have been working tirelessly behind the scenes.

They include Mrs Baker-Burnham from the Rex, Melinda Jones from Monto Magic Tourism Action Group, Jason Erbacher from North Burnett Regional Council, and Misty Green from the Burnett Catchment Care Association.

"It's very exciting because we've been working with the council, and they have some really exciting funding they've received," she said.

"With that we're going to build up both projects together and be strategic about what we're doing, to make sure it fits in with what the community wants as well."

The process will be ongoing up until May 3-9 when the rural army arrives, but Mrs Baker-Burnham encourages the Monto community to come to all events, especially the community planning event at the Rex Theatre.

"It'll be a really good event to get your voice and ideas out there, and it should be a creative and interesting night."

The Small Group Conversations will take place on Thursday January 30 with community groups, businesses, farmers and environment organisations.

The Whole Community Planning Event will start at 6pm at the Rex Theatre January 30.

A Business Breakfast will be held at Cafe Delicious at 7.15am on January 31, with the Open Forum starting on at 11am at the Cultural Complex.

If you'd like more information, please contact Carly Baker-Burnham on 0427 675 115 or Melinda Jones on 0413 144 196.


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