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Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre

Community Engagement – Redan

Redan Community Project

In 2018 an ‘Inspiration Café’ was held in Redan by Make a Change Australia, supported by the City of Ballarat and other local organisations including Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre. The aim of ‘Inspiration Café’ was to bring Redan locals together, find out what they love about their area and what they’d like to see happening in future to strengthen their community. At this event, some community members expressed a desire to form a Redan History Group, while many were keen to see community events and activities happening in their suburb.

In 2020, the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre received pandemic jobs funding from the State Government and was in a position to help make some of these ideas come alive. What resulted were two fantastic Redan community events – Let’s Go Fly a Kite and the Redan History Workshop. Find out more below!

In 2021, the Redan community had an opportunity to be part of a fun family activity to make and fly their own kites, thanks to an event organised by the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre.

After the original event was postponed due to a snap COVID lockdown, we were excited to re-launch the event at the Redan Football Netball Club and Western Oval on Sunday 7 March,2021.

A hard-working team of staff and volunteers ran the event, helping around 80 children and families make and decorate kites on the day attended by more than 130 people. As kites took to the skies, Bean Me Up Mobile Espresso was onsite to provide coffees and refreshing drinks. We were also excited to welcome local kite enthusiast Neil Duke, who brought along some ‘extreme’ giant colourful kites to fly, a great sight to see that attracted many passers-by!

Participant feedback included:

“The display kite was amazing – it caught our eye as we were driving past. The girls enjoyed being able to make their own.”

“What a wonderful opportunity for the members of your community. Thank you so much for your warm welcome!”

“Great idea, grandkids loved it.”

“It was fun being able to make, decorate and then fly the kites. I like the historical re-enactment aspect of the event too.”

The event idea came following community engagement activities in the Redan area by Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre, when Redan local Peter Waugh suggested a kite flying day after discovering a newspaper article from 1881 about the historical tradition of Chinese kite flying in Redan during the goldfield’s era.

“Kite-flying with the Chinese at the Redan is now (writes the Star) a favorite pastime on Sunday mornings. The Celestials exhibit great invention and much artistic ability in the construction of their kites. By an ingenious use of reeds, the kites, which are handsomely variegated, and are fashioned as to rise to a wonderful height, emit succession of humming sounds very much relished by the urchins in the locality. The youngsters station themselves at every vantage point to gratify their eyes and ears.”

Source: The Albury Banner and Wodonga Express, 29 April 1881

Let’s Go Fly A Kite was a wonderful event enjoyed by all community members, staff and volunteers involved.

Redan History Workshop

On 3 March 2021, the Redan History Workshop was held at Ballarat South Senior Citizens Hall at 600 Latrobe Street, Redan. The afternoon featured guest speakers and an afternoon tea, providing a lovely opportunity to come together after the many lock downs and isolation periods during the COVID pandemic in 2020. Doug Bradbury presented A History of Redan, Peter Waugh gave us a fascinating insight into the local watering holes in his presentation on Redan Pubs, and Ian Pym presented 150 Years of the Redan Football Netball Club. The workshop was attended by 40 community members, with one commenting that they enjoyed “Learning how little I know about the area I have lived in for 20+ years.” Other feedback included that it was an “Excellent afternoon,” and there was appreciation for various aspects of the event including “the venue, being well organised, with knowledgeable and enthusiastic speakers on their aspects of Redan history.” All presentations were recorded and can be viewed online using the links below: