Regional Wrap up – SW Qld – Q1 2024

SW Regional Rep Melanie Mills advises there is a lot happening across the SW Qld region.


Cunnumulla Seniors Connecting with Community a huge hit

Our weekly Seniors Connecting with Community is growing by the week.

We have up to 23 seniors attending each week. Numbers have increased from 16 when we first started, to 23 last week.

The program was created when it became evident that our elderly community members were very lonely and not receiving much social interaction. Our businesses have come on board by donating prizes for the weekly bingo event.

A morning tea is provided, along with a birthday cake to celebrate any attendees’ birthdays.

The program originally was only held fortnightly, but due and popularity the seniors enquired about having it weekly. We were very happy to comply as Council also sees the value of the program. Recently, Outback magazine came to take photos of our program and library and a story will feature in the next edition of the Outback magazine.


The team at Western Downs have been extremely busy in the lead up to Words Out West Readers & Writers Festival which is being held from 28 February to 22 March.

Seed libraries are new to public libraries however it was an initiative that Western Downs Libraries launched in November 2023, and it has been embraced by many locals.

The Seed Library isn’t just about seeds; it’s about empowering our community. With various workshops being held all around our region, we have empowered both adults and children with the knowledge and skills to cultivate their own gardens. The inclusive approach has sparked excitement among participants of all ages.

The project goes beyond council walls, extending its impact to daycare centres and local primary schools, introducing gardening as a free and accessible activity for children. It’s about fostering a love for nature and instilling valuable life skills from an early age.

130,000 seeds carefully packaged into 5,500 individual packets and distributed across nine library branches. This monumental effort showcases the dedication of everyone involved and their collective commitment to community resilience and sustainability. Twelve varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers were originally available in the Seed Library, and we are now delighted to have a great variation of seeds being donated by our community green thumbs and made available to borrow – expanding our collection.

The Western Downs Seed Library exemplifies the spirit of fostering connections, sustainability, and empowerment among residents. Its innovative approach to sharing resources and promoting self-sufficiency has made a tangible impact on our community, inspiring individuals of all ages to engage with gardening and environmental conservation. The Seed Library’s success is a testament to the dedication and collaboration of the entire team involved.

On 9 December 2023, Western Downs Regional Council residents came together to celebrate the grand opening of the Chinchilla Cultural Precinct, home of Chinchilla library.  Newly renovated, the centre has been delivered as part of Council’s COVID-19 Recovery package in partnership with the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program. In addition to the library, the centre is home to Lapunyah Art Gallery, a reading courtyard, a cinema and workshop space for community activities.  


A great new initiative launched by Surat Library in February – The Kitchen Library.

Say farewell to the limitations of your kitchen cupboard!  The Kitchen Library brings library members a groundbreaking concept – a library stocked not with books, but with an array of kitchen essentials.  The launch took place at Surat Library and showcased the equipment library members could borrow from the Kitchen Library.  Launch attendees were able to experience the magic of one of the appliances, an ice cream maker, followed (of course!) by an ice cream tasting!

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