Bush dance has a focus on community and inclusion
SOCIAL inclusion is everywhere at the annual Aussie Bush Dance.
From the painted banners on the walls to the special message behind the event, there's a sense of fun and community that's quite simply contagious.
Speaking from the set-up of the event, Bundaberg Regional Council's community and cultural services spokeswoman Judy Peters said it didn't matter what race, religion or background anyone had, as long as they could have some fun and enjoy a happy night.
"We are fortunate to have numerous organisations based in Bundaberg that offer the opportunity for inclusiveness while council provides support to a broad range of people in outlying areas through its neighbourhood centres located in Childers and Gin Gin," she said.
"This week also presents an opportunity for us all to consider the difficulties many people face through disability or isolation and ensure contact is made or advice offered to people in these situations.
"We have a tremendously caring community and the support services are certainly here to assist every member of the Bundaberg regional community."
The event forms part of Social Inclusion Week, which runs from today until December 3.
Numerous community groups have been involved with the set-up and catering.
Daybreak Rotary will be making the "wallaby stew" (don't worry, it's beef), the Scouts will be making damper, Cr Peters will supply the pavs and BUSHkids will have healthy fruit salad and fruit pieces on offer.
The Home Brew Bush Band will be rocking the shed for the evening of fun which includes horse show throwing, badminton and hula hoops.
BUSHkids CEO Carlton Meyn said he was proud for his organisation to be a part of supporting the inclusion of all people.
"The overall benefit that we is is that it doesn't matter what's going on in life, we're all part of a big community," he said.
"Isolation is reduced and people end up with friends they wouldn't have otherwise."
It's a sentiment echoed by the YMCA's Tricia Cross who is also involved in the organisation of the community night out.
"What we do is based on empowering youths and community inclusion for everybody," she said.
The Salvos' Dave Facer said he was excited to don his cowboy hat.
"It's grown each year," he said.
BRAG's Jenny Gilbertson helped create two of the colourful banners that have gone up for the event.
One was created with a Bundaberg Special School student, Zane.
It features his colourful depictions of the region and another mural, painted at the Childers Festival, shares images and stories from numerous contributors.
The dance will be held at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct from 5-8pm Saturday night.
Entry is free.