Bringing history back to life

Nanima Village is a former mission on the outskirts of Wellington, between Orange and Dubbo in NSW. It was the first inland Aboriginal mission and is Australia’s longest continually operating reserve. The Village is managed by the Wellington Local Aboriginal Land Council (WLALC) and its members have an ambitious vision to restore it to its former glory.

ICV volunteer Ian helped WLALC members develop a new Community, Land and Business Plan, setting out goals and how they could achieve them. First on their ‘to do’ list was to bring some old buildings back to life, and back in to use.

For the past few years, WLALC have been trying to get the old school building back into their care, after it closed in 1996. Built in 1896, the building was rundown and contained $60,000 worth of asbestos. Turning it into an education and wellbeing centre seemed a distant dream.

In an exciting recent development, however, WLALC’s visionary CEO, Leanne Stanley, contacted us to say they have finally been able to acquire the school, the asbestos has been removed, and they are ready for the next phase.

WLALC would now like a skilled volunteer to help develop a business plan for the school building, as part of their funding requirements. The idea is that the centre will become a hub for local culture, history and heritage, and a place to promote bush tucker and medicines through establishing native gardens.

"We want people to learn about the importance of looking after country, and the profound benefits of that to both country and self," says Leanne. ICV looks forward to supporting WLALC every step of the way.