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SWAN Reach Area School student
and Country Fire Service (CFS) member
Brooklyn Williamson is taking part in
National Red Balloon Day on February 28,
to raise funds for her volunteer group.
The 16-year-old is a Swan Reach CFS opera-
tional support officer and ensures her brigade
has access to drinking water, caters for training
courses, assist the cadet co-ordinator and helps
Brooklyn's fundraising will help buy more
equipment for the CFS.
"I know that the CFS needs money for extra
equipment that is not considered operational
equipment," she said.
"Things like reversing cameras for the ap-
pliances, support for cadet programs and cadet
group camps, extra shirts and bags to carry gear
in for strike teams and food for training night
"I am doing integrated studies as one of my
year 12 subjects," Brooklyn said.
She decided to study the CFS because while
the CFS helped her achieve her SACE she could
help the CFS. Brooklyn will also assist state CFS
trainers at a Rural Supress Wild Fire training
course, which her brigade is hosting the same
day as the National Red Balloon Day.
She will cater for about 20 people and help
the assessors with equipment they need for the
course. The course is designed to train fire fight-
ers in readiness for wild fire situations.
Brooklyn said she wanted to help with other
training and development courses.
"I am also hoping to implement a Firey
Women's community education session with
the assistance of the CFS community education
officer," she said.
"It will be a chance for local women to feel
more empowered and educated about what to do
when a bushfire threatens their home."
ALARMING new statistics have
prompted Mid Murray Council to act
to prevent children sliding through
The latest Australian Early Develop-
ment Census data shows Mid Murray has
the second highest number of children in
South Australia who are developmentally
Mid Murray Family Connections
Network with Together SA brought its
new board member Michael McAfee to
Mannum on February 5 to coach and sup-
port leaders in their efforts to turn the
About 50 people heard Mr McAfee
speak about his organisation Promise
The organisation works with leaders
to ensure children have "high-quality,
co-ordinated health, social, community,
and educational support from the cradle
to college to career".
Mayor Dave Burgess, councillors Kelly
Kuhn and Steve Wilkinson and chief
executive officer Russell Peate, joined
principals, health staff, community devel-
opment workers, parents, police, church
groups, education workers and commu-
nity members, in a bid to make a change.
Mr McAfee said it was important that
people focused on the data.
"When you care about real results you
need to marry the science with experi-
ence," he said.
"The science is in the data and the
evidence of what actually works.
"The experience is the power of local
families to know what this means in their
communities and how to make things
Council's community development
officer Amy Loechel said Mr McAfee's
presentation was powerful.
"The most powerful message was, in
order to make positive change for the
development of our children, everyone
needs to be held accountable," she said.
"It takes a whole community to raise
a child and it's not going to be an easy
process, will require time, a level of dis-
comfort and above all dedication."
Together SA chief executive Kate
Simpson said it was a privilege to sup-
port the work of inspiring people in Mid
"No community wants to leave chil-
dren behind," she said.
"This group is seriously grappling
with what it would take to turn the curve
on children's wellbeing.
"Mr McAfee helped us get clearer
about how to be really rigorous in our
planning, and when to meaningfully
involve the broader community in the
People can visit www.aedc.gov.au for
more information or to view the statis-
Mid Murray children at risk
Mid Murray Monthly
PROMISE Neighbourhoods Institute director Michael McAfee spoke to Mid Murray community members after new statistics showed
more than 40 per cent of children in the Mid Murray district are developmentally vulnerable. Mr McAfee is pictured with Together SA
chief executive officer Kate Simpson and Truro Primary School principal Di Handcock.
music stars will have the
chance to showcase their
talents at a workshop on
the first day of the 2015
Swan Reach Country
Festival organisers, in con-
junction with Country Arts
SA and Mid Murray Council,
are conducting a song record-
ing workshop with renowned
education and music facilita-
tor Chris Teusner of the Emu
The workshop will run
from 10am to 7pm on March
27. Mr Teusner has been in-
volved in promoting creativity,
self-expression and confidence
through music for the past
20 years, both nationally and
Participants will have an
opportunity to appear on the
festival stage that evening to
perform their song.
Artists will be required to
present a pre-written piece of
work based on the theme 'The
Region and the Community'
and applications are now open
through Mid Murray Council.
This year's festival line-up
includes Deidre Reid, Tracey
Rains and the Claypans Band,
Nathaniel O'Brien and The
New to the festival is Dolly
Lee. Winners of last year's
talent contest will also be part
of the three-day event, which
runs from March 27 to 29.
Swan Reach Progress Asso-
ciation chairman John George
said local performers would
have an opportunity to show-
case their talents.
"We are proud to also in-
clude a performance by local
band The Badlands," he said.
"The 2015 line-up is cer-
tainly not to be missed. We
have some new faces and The
Borderers are back by popular
Highlights of the event are
set to include food stalls, bar
facilities, static displays, PS
Marion cruises, a whip crack-
ing demonstration and the
A three and half hour
country music lunch cruise
will be offered this year on
board the PS Marion on the
The cruise will include live
country music, buffet lunch
and will pass the Big Bend
cliffs at Nildottie.
The festival will be on the
Swan Reach Oval from 5pm on
Brooklyn backs CFS
Country music stars to shine at Swan Reach festival Swan Reach Country Music
Festival March 27- 29
Friday, 5pm to 10pm, Saturday,
7.30am- midnight, Sunday 7.30
am to 2pm.
Cost: Weekend pass $45, Satur-
day $30, Sunday $10 for adults.
Friday $5, Saturday $15 and
Sunday free for people aged
Under 14s free, when accom-
panied by a paying adult or
Camping: $15 per site per night
PS Marion Cruises: Friday, March
27, Country Music Lunch cruise
$59, Saturday, March 28 one
hour cruises -- $15for adults,
$7.50 for children.
Contact: Jackie on 0427 662
037 or email srcmf@bigpond.
com, visit www.swanreachcoun-
try.com.au or www.facebook.
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