Thursday 24 September 2009

A letter to Val

I often receive copies of letters from readers who have written to the Cairns Post, but were never published, for some unknown reason.

Here's one of them, and you can see why they choose the ones that don't fit their agenda.

Mayor of Cairns Regional Council, Val Schier, also tells me that she gets sent letters from constituents that never made it to the letters column in the local newspaper.

"This letter, that was set to me by a local that was first sent to the Cairns Post," Schier says. "It articulates well what many have been saying about this year's Festival Cairns. I love getting feedback from people."
  • The carnivals of the north this year have returned to grassroots, volunteer committees, and embodying the spirit of the local culture and environment.

    Having been a part of Carnivale in Port Douglas and the Gordonvale Great Pyramid Race and Country Fair's 50th Anniversary celebrations, and witnessed the goodwill, donation of time, talent and sheer commitment and hard work put in by so many people - it is a triumph of community power over outsourced professional events management. The atmosphere at Carnivale was terrific with many locals commenting that it was a record number of floats.

    During Pyramid Race celebrations we saw Gordonvale State High School students rehearse for weeks to take centre stage at the pub to re-enact the wager between the two cane farmers who started it all, David Hudson generously donating his time and talent to entertain the crowd, and locals turning up early on race day to give a hand putting marquees up, and clean up afterwards.

    Festival Cairns too this year had a different, more inclusive spirit - many Council staff members throwing themselves into the organising and locals coming out in droves to support the many Indigenous events - the wonderful Art Fair at the Tanks, the Indigenous Film Festival at JUTE and thousands on the Esplanade staying to listen to Saltwater Band - an Aboriginal troupe from Arnhem Land.

    Also great were the many international food stalls lining the Esplanade, the cultures of Cairns coming together to celebrate the many tastes of the world.

    These last few months have felt like the Cairns of old, when all worked for the greater well being of community. Let's keep the spirit going - building a strong community and recognising and celebrating our unique diversity of cultures and beautiful environment.

1 comment:

Steven Nowakowski said...

I'd also like to congratulate Val and her team who hosted an amazing Festival this year. I'd also like to note that the Festival was run without the use of Festival consultants so I assume it was even cheaper than previous years hosted by the Byrne regime.

For the Council to organise and successfully execute such an ambitious Festival without any hiccups or complaints and that involved so many participants from the local community is fantastic.

Three cheers for Cairns Regional Council and to Val who decided to run the Festival without over priced consultants.