Does your town have a good vibe?

Colourful sheep statues gave this town a good vibe

Colourful sheep give this town a good vibe

Whilst travelling through the Mallee country in western Victoria we experienced two opposing feelings from two different towns. One was positive and the other was depressing.

To put this into context, these feelings and judgements were only made after spending 30 minutes and stopping for a coffee but this is my point. What outward displays did each of these towns give for us to form these immediate opinions?

I will focus only on the positive town, Kaniva,  to try and answer the original question.

To distill the vagaries of “a good vibe” into some substantive points I have come up with the following:

  1. It had colour and movement. The local community had organised statues of sheep to be dispersed throughout the town on footpaths. Each sheep had different groups advertised on them as sponsors and everyone had a hidden windmill icon to give the visitor a bit of a treasure hunt if they wanted. These gimmicks showed us immediately that the community cared how they presented their town.
  2. The locals were talking to each other openly in the street and seemed happy for you to be there. They acknowledged your presence as a visitor and smiled.
  3. The small businesses in the main street were vibrant and quirky. There was not just the usual stores but also bric a brac, art gallery and a puppet shop. This diversity gave a very artistic feeling and made the stroll down the main street interesting.
  4. The community notice board was full, neat and current.

It was hard to actualise the “things” that gave us an immediate positive feeling but these items definitely contributed in a major way.

How does your community “feel” when a visitor comes into it?

Brad and Narelle Scott

Brad Scott
Situation Tolerable

Brad Scott is a Redlander currently travelling at a leisurely pace around Australia with his wife Narelle in a caravan they’ve named “Situation Tolerable”.

In 2016 Brad was The Greens candidate for the Federal seat of Bowman.


Redlands2030 – 8 June 2017


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5 thoughts on “Does your town have a good vibe?

  1. Lighting Upgrade at Raby Bay Marina

    some thoughts for the lighting upgrade:

    1. a laser light show on Friday and Saturday nights for an hour or so. That would be a real attraction for the restaurant precinct and marina. I’m sure it would attract many visitors and be extra good for business.

    2. solar lights on each of the white pillars around the marina, as that would keep the operating costs down. They would also reflect off the water and be very inviting and spectacular.

    3. perhaps the laser light show could project on the boardwalk or some lights in the boardwalk itself.

    4. I believe ‘outdoor movies” in the marina park would be a real asset in the summer months. The area lends itself to be an ideal place for family picnics whilst watching a movie. It would create an event for portable eateries to operate their business from. Thus creating a wonderful family and community environment.

    I believe that the Raby Bay marina is an unique location and needs to be treasured. I have travelled the world and you would be hard placed to find a better venue anywhere in the world.
    It needs to keep its ‘unique village environment” excluding modern high rise buildings…..

    Please “keep Raby Bay marina” beautiful.

  2. The vibe in Redlands to most people I talk to, is depressing….and here’s a reason why.
    It’s paradise to the building industry and their hangers on….but along with the degradation left behind, we are losing our wildlife habitat trees, big time, that should shelter them.
    Koala Preservation Society member Jan Motbey wrote the following poem included in their newsletter to me in their 1998 Newsletter, and I quote:
    “Koala’s Plea”.
    Please help me for I’m dying,
    and if you do not hear,
    another “old” Australian
    will surely disappear!
    We need to be protected
    for we are precious, rare,
    found only in Australia,
    yet hounded to despair.
    So while we’re still among you,
    please help preserve our cause,
    does not our killing shame you,
    and give you cause to pause?
    Please stop and look around you,
    oh, do you care or see
    that heritage is passing into obscurity?

    Relentless killing of our Redland koalas has been ongoing for decades. When will it end? Why won’t our government politicians call a halt to developers burying our remaining koalas?

  3. Brad, were you able to drop in and visit Port MacQuarie on your travels? They celebrate koalas like they care for them! They had a competition for local artists to decorate 100 x 1mtr high white fibre glass koalas and these were then used as a tourist guide map to highlight various businesses and scenic spots throught the shire. Some ended up being sponsored by the local businesses they advertised! The scheme became so popular that some years later in the council art gallery later you can buy a colouring book of the koalas, in situ throughout the shire, and you can colour them in your own colours. They feature on a guide map available for free at the localcouncil, airport, bus centre etc. Port MacQuarie also has the most wonderful koala hospital that encourages visitors where tourists from overseas and locals come and sponsor individual koalas and if that koala is eventually released, usually that sponsorship rolls over to the next casualty. Their animal ambulance is a 2r hr service and is exceptionally busy.

    • Jan, we didn’t pass through Port Macquarie this time but I have been there before. I was unaware of their Koala program so I will now look out for it. Gunnedah is another town that has done good things managing and protecting their Koala population. The Redlands may need to look at both these towns schemes for some inspiration.

      • I think it was the Gunnedah one that was looked at up here at the Redland Koala Summit back in 2005!

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