Rural Aid volunteers help transform Orroroo

The small South Australian community won a spot in the national Our Towns program funded by Rural Aid to give the town a makeover.

May 27, 2022, updated Nov 14, 2022
The Rural Aid volunteers who helped give Orroroo a facelift.

The Rural Aid volunteers who helped give Orroroo a facelift.

Orroroo was the only South Australian town to win a spot in the $100,000 project, which included a week of makeover works to renovate the town’s Catholic Church, swimming pool and Country Fire Shed.

Gardens beds were also built around the town and a new concrete ramp was installed at the golf club.

Jen Curnow-Trotter, Rural Aid’s community program coordinator, said the charity worked to improve rural towns as a way to help farmers.

“Towns and farmers need each other,” she said.

“Our brief is to basically look at what those towns need to be more efficient and work towards that.”

The golf course before.

The golf course after the volunteer works.

Curnow-Trotter said COVID-19 meant the Orroroo project was postponed several times but they eventually got the chance to workshop with the locals to define the goals for the town’s transformation.

“We brought in an expert, then a Community Development Plan was devised with what the locals wanted, and we used that document as an outline for how everything would go moving forward,” she said.

Curnow-Trotter said the Rural Aid volunteers who came to Orroroo to help with the week of renovation found everyone more than welcoming.

“Orroroo is one of those towns where you can just feel the immense town pride from the locals,” she said.

Lyn Hounsell, Orroroo’s Council Liaison Office said the town has never looked better and the renovations have helped them move forward.

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“I find it hard to believe that they can get 30 volunteers to come to a small country town in the middle of South Australia,” Hounsell said.

Committee member and Orroroo resident Joylene Tapscott said the renovations have uplifted and transformed areas of the town that will make it more attractive as a stop-over for people passing through.

“Parklands have been put in across from the caravan park and tables and chairs on the main street are being renovated,” Tapscott said.

“The future plan for the renovations is to chat with business owners on the main street and work towards upgrading their facades, verandahs, or whatever will support them.

“This will help give people passing through a reason to stop here, and also encourage new businesses to make the move to Orroroo.”

The prize doesn’t end with the makeover, with Orroroo able to use their winnings to implement the development plan to improve the town’s functionality and practicality.

Curnow-Trotter said that all 10 winners will also meet up online each quarter so they can share ideas.

“Each town gets to see what others are struggling with and come up with solutions,” Curnow-Trotter said.

This story is proudly brought to you by RDA SA as the winner of the Community Empowerment Award which is part of the Regional Showcase 2022 program, run by Solstice Media.

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