Taroom Show focuses on Mental Health
Please welcome CCP's guest blogger for this week... Andrea Schulz.
Andrea covered the Taroom Show last week and was kind enough to share with Coulton's Country her thoughts on the annual event.
Andrea's images can be purchased through the CCP website or click on the link below. Until next week - happy snapping.
The Taroom Show
Like most other shows, there are cattle and horses on display, pavilions full of cooking and craft, and kids running around with fairy floss catching up with their friends.
I believe the thing that really sets Taroom apart from the rest though is the deep sense of community. I’m not suggesting that other shows don’t have this (I’ve grown up around shows, and I can tell you they do), but there is something rather special about Taroom. The community is so proud and passionate about their local show. The show itself is like Christmas, but only bigger and better because there are so many more friends and family all in the one place at the one time.
This year, the Taroom Show Society hosted the state show jumping championships which attracted riders from Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
The stud section claimed to have the largest prize pool for a rural and regional show, with over $15,000 in prizes and cash up for grabs. The commercial section doubled their entries, and they had over $6000 in prizes on offer. The pavilion introduced several new concepts including a live judging demonstration and a women’s only welding competition in response to the very popular and rather prestigious men’s only cooking competition.
But there was one standout attraction at Taroom, one which had a more serious side - and that was the promotion and awareness of mental health in rural and regional communities.
Rural and Remote Mental Health had a stall set up in the Santos GNLG Town and Country Pavilion, and the team delivered several presentations throughout the two days on stage. The highlight though was having John Schumann, the former lead singer of the popular Australian band Redgum, open the show and perform a live concert.
It was spectacular. Songs such as I was Only 19, I’ve Been to Bali and Waltzing Matilda were played, and they sounded even better than listening to them on the radio.
We all know mental health is an issue in rural and regional communities, and you might ask yourself why the Taroom Show Society added this serious issue to their program. Simply because they wanted to.
Last year a good friend of mine, and a good friend to everyone within the Taroom and Wandoan communities took their own life. It was devastating to say the least. I praise the Taroom Show Society for taking such a proactive approach to raise awareness about mental health, and for looking after the community.
When Sarah asked me to write my very first blog for Coulton’s Country, I had plenty of ideas because the Taroom Show is such a vibrant, exciting show. But I wanted to focus on mental health because as a journalist I have an opportunity to help raise awareness about mental health. Personally, I feel I also have a responsibility and a duty to my community.
When you looked around the grounds at the Taroom Show, there was always someone with a smile on their face. I know the Taroom Show Society plans to keep it that way, and so do I. Enjoy these pictures, and next year come and have a look at the Taroom show for yourself. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Written by Andrea Schulz
Images by Andrea Schulz
Freelance Journalist for Coulton's Country.