Latest news and announcements

For latest news on services, roads, tours and events, please call Tourism Association president, Bill Elliott on mob. 0429 915467, or enquire via our contact form.

See also "Wilcannia News newspaper" for newspaper contact details (e.g. "letters to the editor")

King and Queen of the 2012 NAIDOC Ball

Saturday nights NAIDOC ball will become an annual event following the success of this years event. The crowd of around 100 enjoyed the night where, in true bush fashion, local talent rose to the occasion. When the band that had been booked to play for the evening had to cancel at late notice, local musicians Dave Curry, Kyle Whyman, Robert Clayton, Fred Hunter and Horse Whyman, between them filled the gap, and in the view of many, the evening was the better for it.

A new tradition was established with the crowning of King and Queen of the Ball. Brian Cox and Patricia Whyman took out the honours, and were suitably crowned with gold crowns, the handiwork of Tony Gilfoyle.  Brian wore a yellow suit, black shirt and red pocket handkerchief. Patricia wore a stunning strapless dress with ruched bodice and  drop waist chiffon skirt.

Alana Harris and Bill Elliott were runners up.

Marcia Whyman and Kyle Whyman were awarded the Best Dressed prizes for the younger set.

St Therese's "Heaps Decent"

Heaps Decent is an initiative committed to finding and nurturing the creativity of young people and emerging artists. By providing resources and opportunities, Heaps Decent supports the development of high quality Australian music with a unique identity. Heaps Decent visited us during the week creating positive and engaging opportunities for our students to express themselves, all the while enhancing creative and life skills such as teamwork and literacy. Heaps Decent will be back again later this term."Heaps Decfent"


On Friday, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation launch a new series of books published in Paakantji and English. The books are the first series to be published in Paakjantij language and English and are aimed at children who are just learning to read. The two new books, No Tharlta on the Bus and Lenny & the Big Red Malka are written and illustrated by Faith Baisden who worked in consultation with Murray Butcher to develop the books. Last year the launch of the first book in the series, My Mara Love to Clap occurred.

An ancient craft still in high demand

The old Catholic presbytery on the corner of Byrnes and Hood streets is gradually taking on a new face.Simon Pandle and Jamie Davis

Heritage Stone Restoration stone masons Simon Pendle and Jamie Davis spent three days last week working on the stone repointing.

Simon, who is from Bristol and Jamie who hails from Birmingham, both in the UK, have worked on a number of stone buildings in Wilcannia. Germaine said she is really please with the high quality of the work. The work is being partly funded through Central Darling Shire Councils local heritage fund.

History of the Presbytery

At the conclusion of the 1885 Synod, the Catholic Bishops applied to Rome to form a new see in Western NSW. At the time, Wilcannia was known as the “Queen City of the West”, so the Bishops felt it was the natural town in which to base the new Diocese and that it would      eventually become a Cathedral City.

Integrated Water Cycle Management Plan

Integrated Water Cycle Management and Living with Climate Change – A Plan for the Central Darling Shire Council

Community workshops are being held to assist with the development of an integrated water cycle management strategy with due regard to the challenge of climate change to ensure water resource management in the Central Darling Shire Council is sustainable.

The project is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities under the Strengthening Basins Program.

Separate workshops will be held in White Cliffs, Wilcannia and Ivanhoe as detailed below,

White Cliffs: Tuesday  31st July 2012, 9.30am-11.30m, White Cliffs Community Hall

Wilcannia: Tuesday  31st July 2012, 2.00pm-4.00pm, Wilcannia RTC

Ivanhoe: Wednesday 1st August 2012, 10.00am-12.00am, Ivanhoe Community Hall

Big boys enjoying football

THIS SATURDAY  6.30pm 28th of July 2012                                  
18 plus: no admission for underage children.
TICKET: $25.00   BYO

Paul Browns photo taken at last  Saturday’s Parntu Warriors –v– Geebungs match

Football in Wilcannia

Candela’s photo taken at the Wings Drop In Performance Showcase don’t need words.
Wings Drop In Performance

From the Darling River Action Group Minutes -- July Meeting

The announcement (BDT 29th June) that an irrigator had been fined $370,000 for stealing water from the Lachlan River in 2008 was discussed. It is reassuring that the NSW Government has caught and fined one of the water thieves, but the process taking 4 years is a bit long. We wonder how much profit was made from the 280 megalitres that was stolen, and how often such acts took place before he was caught.

The announcement of two big water sales (BDT 19th June) to the Commonwealth was discussed. Tandou sold 14 gigalitres for more than $19 million at a profit of over $1 million. The water licences sold were not from Tandou’s Menindee farms. Tandou has evolved into a water trading company, buying and selling water rights.  The other sale was 11 Gigalitres from Select Harvest. DRAG welcomes these purchases by the Commonwealth, taking 25 Gigalitres of water licence out of irrigation and putting it back into the environment.

It is unfortunate that the purchase involved us taxpayers giving Tandou a profit of over $1 million, but that is what happens when water trading is allowed and conservative politicians put pressure on government buybacks.

Considering further study at University?

Are you a mature age Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander considering further study at University?

Are you committed to furthering your career through tertiary studies? Then the UNSW Indigenous Spring Forum could be for you.

About Nura Gili

Nura Gili is the Centre for Indigenous Programs at the University of New South Wales. The Centre is involved in supporting potential and current Indigenous students at the University, and is also involved in teaching Indigenous Studies and research in Indigenous Education.UNSW Nura Gili

About the program

The Indigenous Spring Forum is a residential program designed to provide a unique opportunity for mature age and TAFE students to find out more about studying at university, clarifying what is required to apply for and undertake studies at university, and showcasing what UNSW can offer.

Any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is over 18 and is intending to study at university in 2013 or 2014 is encouraged to apply.

What study areas are offered?

For 2012 the study areas include Arts, Business, Built Environment, Education, Indigenous Studies, Law, Medicine, Public Health, Science, Media, Performing Arts, Engineering and Fine Arts.

Hazard reduction activities – Wilcannia town

The NSW Rural Fire Service Far West Team is advising that hazard reduction burning will be conducted within the township of Wilcannia beginning on the 4th August 2012. Burning activities will be conducted by the local and surrounding Brigades.

With the current season of rainfall and subsequent high vegetation growth, the NSW Rural Fire Service holds the responsibility to make safe communities across NSW. As part of this responsibility the Far West Team is conducting hazard reduction works across its area of responsibility. With the support of the communities, residents and Brigade volunteers every effort is being made to support land owners and managers in their role of managing the risk of fire on their land within the township. By conducting burning of the vegetation around the residential areas of the town reduces the risk during a bushfire emergency.

The burning will be conducted from:

4th August around the area of Barkindji Drive, Woore and Hood St’s in the North Western aspect of the village out to the fire break.

11th August burning will be conducted to the rear of the Council Yard out to the Barrier Hwy and White Cliffs Rd.

19th August burning will be conducted along the Barrier Highway from Dry Lake Road back toward town.

University doors open to more regional and Indigenous students

University enrolments by regional and Indigenous students have increased to record levels, reversing an historical trend that has often seen them locked out of higher education.

In 2011, a total of 5,381 Indigenous students commenced a university course, an increase of 6.1 per cent from 2010. Since 2007 the number of Indigenous students studying at university has increased by 2,437, or 26 per cent.

Commencements for students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds increased by 3.3 per cent to 56,710, while total enrolments of low SES increased by 26,456 since 2007, or 23.9 per cent.

Regional and remote student commencements also increased after declining under the Howard Government. Total enrolments increased by 24,427 students since 2007, or 17.4 per cent.

Limits on student places meant many talented young people missed out on the opportunity to realise their full potential, "The Gillard Government removed the restrictions on student numbers and we are now seeing young people from rural and regional Australia, from migrant backgrounds, Indigenous people and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds, taking up the opportunity to get a university qualification.

FREE Maggie Dent Wilcannia Seminars: 31st July – 2nd August 2012

Black Duck Wisdom (all welcome)

WHEN: 31st July, 5:30pm – 7:00pm

WHERE: Wilcannia Golf Club function room

Wilma (for parents)

WHEN: 1st August, 9:30am – 11:00am

WHERE: Wilcannia Women & Children’s Safe House (morning tea provided)

Kids & substance abuse (for secondary students & parents)

WHEN: 1st August, 12pm – 1:30pm

WHERE: Wilcannia Central School library (school lunch afterwards)

Importance of calmness, stillness & silence (for Central School & St Therese’s staff & parents)

WHEN: 1st August, 3:30pm – 5:00pm

WHERE: Wilcannia Central School library (afternoon tea provided)