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Boost for One River project

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The Hon Simon Crean MP

Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Minister for the Arts Thursday, 17 January, 2013 BOOST FOR ONE RIVER PROJECT

The Centenary of Canberra’s One River project is on track to reveal new, secret and forgotten stories of the Murray Darling Basin thanks to a New Year federal funding boost.

Arts Minister Simon Crean today announced $30,000 for the One River project through the Festivals Australia program, which will see about half a million in funding to support 27 community festivals and projects around Australia.

“The Festivals Australia program supports regional communities to develop and nurture local artistic and creative talent by providing funding for an array of festivals, events and skill and training workshops,” Mr Crean said.

“One River will connect the national capital with regional communities, towns and waters to tell the story of the Murray Darling Basin through a collaborative community artwork.

“One River is empowering communities by building and sharing the skills of regional arts practitioners across the Murray Darling Basin and stimulating and promoting local creative talent.

“The grants provide an outlet for the wealth of artistic talent in our communities and regions.

“Engagement with arts and culture helps to cement a sense of community, increase the liveability of our regions and provide an economic boost through local tourism.”

Creative Director of the Centenary of Canberra Robyn Archer said One River presents a unique opportunity for the Canberra community, in its centenary year, to engage directly in important regional issues and debate.

“I’m delighted that One River has secured extra support. Having a direct connect to the river, my mother born on its banks when her father ran the punt between Cadell and Morgan, makes this project special for me,” Ms Archer said.

“I always believed there could be a conversation that linked river communities with shared stories that went deeper than the water allocation battle which is so often the only aspect of river life that gets attention. I was delighted to learn in this role that Canberra is the largest city in the system and is connected to four states and a territory via the tributaries to the Murray Darling. This gave me a new

perspective on the capital - and that’s what the Centenary is all about - asking Australians to re-imagine the capital.

“I also began to learn about Indigenous histories of the river-life, including in the Canberra region, and this was a further revelation. Through the project, there’s already been a new connection made between Indigenous experience and expertise in Canberra and Indigenous knowledge in the Goolwa area; new waves are being created here. The scientific and environmental challenges and thinking offer yet another set of perspectives. It’s a rich and comprehensive project.”

Ms Archer also praised the creative leads on the project.

“The core team of Lindy Allen, Donna Jackson and Malcolm Mackinnon have taken up the challenge in brilliant form: they all have superb track-records in regional arts projects and I’m looking forward to seeing everything that arises. Malcolm’s first films for the project are absolutely beautiful.”

One River is also supported by the Murray Darling Basin Authority, which will deliver a series of education seminars alongside the local projects.

Media contact: Georgia Brumby (Minister Crean) 0401 097 176 or Susanne Roberts (Senior PR Manager, Centenary of Canberra) 02 6207 5820 / 0414 805 456