A place to meet

THE creative folk of Fryerstown knew they needed a central place for the community to gather.

But they didn’t realise quite how much the new space would bring people out of the forests and gullies to meet, eat, and learn new skills.

Eight months since the old Fryerstown school was launched as a community hub, the project has succeeded beyond expectations, said Fryerstown School facilities coordinator Denise Button.

After being silent and derelict for so long, the school is alive with activity.

Since its launch as a community hub in April, the school has hosted a community lunch and dinner every month, workshops, training and artists’ exhibitions.

“It really has become a hub,” Ms Button said.

“There are 400 people living in Fryerstown but it’s pretty sparse out here, people are spread out.”

Every Friday the school hosts a social gathering for people to come and have a yarn and debrief from the week, she said. “People are loving it.”

One Friday a woman came along who said she had lived in the area for 16 years and never socialised in the town before.

She turned out to be international sound artist Ros Bandt, who later enthralled people with a forest performance and the Fryerstown School as the meeting point.

"And that has happened more than once. It’s really drawing people out….it’s brought out some really special moments.

"It (the school) has delivered even more than we anticipated."

The school recently received a $3,300 grant from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR)  which will be used to buy audio-visual equipment to support the delivery of training workshops at the school, Ms Button said.

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