Community News

Whitewater kayaking on the Goolang Creek. Image: Contributed

Nymboida to create a memorial to 2019 bushfires

The making of a memorial to the 2019 bushfires that affected Nymboida and its surroundings will commence at this year’s Clarence Valley Camp Oven Festival.

The memorial will consist of 12 mosaic pavers that will encircle a tree planted in the Nymboida Camping and Canoeing Centre grounds. Following the bushfire that devastated Nymboida, the centre operated as a community hub, refuge and recovery centre, catering for locals in need, as well as attending professionals and volunteers from numerous support services and charities. The project responds to aspirations around tree planting and the dedication of memorials captured in the Nymboida Community Action Plan, written in response to the bushfires. It is funded by the Bushfire Recovery Community Grants Program, Healthy North Coast through North Coast Primary Health Network. 

Festival creative director Laena Stephenson said, “This project is one more step towards meeting our community’s need to memorialise, reflect upon and share their experiences with others. The tree will grow and what it signifies will benefit generations of residents and visitors alike.” The mosaic will be created in a dedicated workshop space at the Clarence Valley Camp Oven Festival, which runs from 11th to 14th June. This allows both locals and visitors with a connection to Nymboida, to participate. Community artist and Nymboida resident Pamela Denise, who designed the mosaic and will facilitate the workshops said, “the design focus is on the acclaimed white-water attributes of the Nymboida River. It also remembers the many happy years we could ride inflated tyre tubes and paddle kayaks down the Goolang Creek rapids when water was released from the power station.”

“A circle of white water around a living tree represents an acceptance of the wildness of the Nymboida landscape and the possibility of life into the future.” A dedication on a cast bronze plaque will be embedded into the mosaic so that the meaning can be transferred to future observers. The tree planting will occur at a later date, after the festival, so that the whole community may attend.