Boomerang bags a double

By Cobram Courier

Cobram-Barooga Boomerang Bag volunteers were "shocked" to win the Moira Shire Arts/Culture or Environment Project of the Year.

So, they could hardly believe their luck when later in the night they won Organisation of the Year.

Every third Sunday of the month, the volunteers meet at the community house to sew together bags.

The final product is then placed in businesses, libraries and the visitor information centre across Cobram-Barooga.

The bags are free but a gold coin donation is requested.

The bags are usually scooped up by locals and tourists, because, as co-coordinator Bethan McKay said everybody needs more than one bag.

Ms McKay said the group formed about three years ago.

Since then she estimated the group has made about 3000 bags.

“It's great to win,” Ms McKay said.

“There was eight there on the night and we shocked when we won the first time.

“We thought we can't win two so we sat back and enjoyed ourselves, only to be shocked again when they called our names.

“We're all very proud of what we've achieved. You don't see the amount of work you do until it's on paper and it's incredible.

The Australia-wide initiative aims to reduce the impact of plastic bags on the environment.

The material is all donated and second hand for the members.

“Otherwise a lot of that material would be used in landfill,” Ms McKay said.

“It's all about reducing our plastic consumption and we mainly do it for just environmental purposes.

“It makes you feel good knowing you're doing a little bit for the environment.”

It can take an experienced sewer about 90 minutes to complete a bag.

The volunteers meet monthly for the sewing and cutting but most of all chatting.

“It's a great way to meet new people,” Ms McKay said.

“Some people sew from home; and that's fine but we have a great time every month.

“There's no expectation when we meet. If you can't make it that's fine.”

Anyone interested in trying their hand at sewing for the group are welcome pop in every sewing bee.

Cobram-Barooga Boomerang Bags group meets every third Sunday of the month at community house, Punt Rd, between 10 am and 3 pm.

Ms McKay said newcomers are guaranteed a hot cuppa tea.

Moira Shire celebrates its citizens

Moira Shire started the new decade in popular fashion with about 150 people packing the Cobram Civic Centre on Thursday night for the Australia Day awards.

There were a total of 27 nominees across the Moira Shire in five categories.

A number of special guests attended, including Members for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell, Tim Quilty and Tania Maxwell as well as State Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy and State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed.

Mayor Libro Mustica congratulated the people and projects nominated for the awards.

He said collectively it shows community strength.

“We are so fortunate to have many passionate and dedicated volunteers who donate their time and skills for the betterment of others,” Cr Mustica said.

“Their commitment to the community plays an enormous role within our region.

“Without award ceremonies such as this, many of these groups, organisations and individuals would go unrecognised by the wider community, and the Australia Day Awards in particular is an opportunity to celebrate and applaud the efforts and achievements of each nominee.

“Each nominee was assessed by a panel of judges who praised the calibre of nominations."