Community heart

COMMUNITY FUN: Stephanie, Connor, and Riley Rocchi with Savannah Higgins enjoying the face painting and hair spraying available at the event.

COMMUNITY FUN: Stephanie, Connor, and Riley Rocchi with Savannah Higgins enjoying the face painting and hair spraying available at the event.

With a large part of Whyalla’s workforce currently facing great uncertainty, it is refreshing to know the community can still let their hair down for a bit of fun.

OPAL: Hayden Pognen, Opal Coordinator Denise Sharp, Zoe Ritchie, and Youth Advisory Committee member Amber Gentle enjoying the fresh fruit from the Opal stall.

OPAL: Hayden Pognen, Opal Coordinator Denise Sharp, Zoe Ritchie, and Youth Advisory Committee member Amber Gentle enjoying the fresh fruit from the Opal stall.

The Whyalla Stuart Collective Impact Project last week held a fun day at McRitchie Park, attracting a solid turnout of 120 people despite rainy weather hindering the event.

Beyond Bank, the Whyalla City Council, Opal, D’faces of Youth, Whyalla Stuart R-7 Campus, Stuart High School, SA Police, TAFE SA, Housing SA, and local churches all fronted stalls at the event.

Funding was provided by both the council and Beyond Bank.

Schools Ministry Group Community Services Manager Michael Edgecome said it was good to see the community rally around the event despite enduring tough times.

“It’s great to see there’s still a heart in the community, they want to come out and enjoy themselves and celebrate some things too,” he said.

“We’re hearing a lot of good word of mouth from the community and people wanting to come out and connect through having fun.”

“Given the last week with the negative news coming out of Arrium in the last week it’s really positive .”

The event included several new stalls which had not been present during the first fun day, including a hair salon run by Mission Australia, and Occupational Therapy education area run by UniSA. 

A second jumping castle was included due to popular demand.

“We’ve taken the feedback that people gave us and implemented that, Stuart High have also been surveying the community about what they want to see around Whyalla,” Mr Edgecomb said.

“We will be taking that into consideration as we are moving forward.”

Mr Edgecomb said the group were hoping to hold two events each term, and had began planning for fun days in the winter.

“We’re thinking about how we can do it in different weather, whether we change it up, maybe try holding it in the Stuart High gym,” he said.

“If the community have any ideas they can get in touch with one of the schools and let us know.”

The events are currently limited to the Whyalla Stuart area, however Mr Edgecomb said there is no reason a new location could be considered.

“They could be happening right across the community,” he said.

Beyond Bank Community Development Officer John Hunt said it was important to invest in community events like the fun day.

“Particularly with difficult times it’s nice to see kids running around outside, that’s what it’s all about in the end.”