Saturday, May 9
A campaign to get Horsham on morning television show Sunrise has been successful.
The city will appear on the show on Monday, following a push to have Horsham represent the letter H in the Channel 7 show's virtual A-Z tour of Australian towns.
Sallie Koenig led a campaign to highlight good news stories from the city using the banner 'Horsham helps'
She announced the success on her Instagram account @LessonsfromOskar.
"Woop woop this just in peeps Horsham will be on @sunriseon7 Monday morning!!!! OMG!!! I have an email a mile long of things to organise but soooooo worth it!!! WELL DONE TEAM HORSHAM SEE YOU THEN @sammacinsta yayyyyyyyyy," the post read.
More to come
ONE Horsham woman is hoping acts of kindness in the city during isolation could be the thing to land it on national morning television.
Sallie Koenig and her family watch Channel 7's Sunrise every morning and want Horsham to represent the letter H in the show's virtual A-Z tour of Australian towns.
Mrs Koenig has asked people to email Sunrise to share stories of goodwill during the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions, fitting her theme 'Horsham helps'.
- Scroll down for good news stories from different people across the city
She said she was inspired by the kindness of her friend, Bella Madre Photography owner Rachel Deckert. Ms Deckert is taking family photos of people in the driveways for free, as a way to create a positive memory of the pandemic.
Mrs Koenig said she had also heard of other acts of kindness across the city.
"I just thought, there's so much going on in our little town to be celebrated," she said.
She said she wasn't taking the endeavour to get Horsham on television too seriously, but hoped if it happened it would have a good effect on the city.
"It's a bit of fun," she said.
"It might encourage people to come here after this is all said and done."
Mrs Koenig said businesses were doing great things and she wanted to hear their stories
"We all just hope businesses are able to stay running in this town and be open when we're all back," she said.
"It would be great to hear from more businesses."
Mrs Koenig said the pandemic and restrictions had been challenging.
She has three children under four - Oskar, 3, Adeline, 2, and Banjo, five months.
But she said her family was fortunate her husband, Horsham councillor and Uniting Wimmera executive officer Josh Koenig, was still working.
"It's been tough. I really miss mum's group and family so much," she said.
"Everyone's doing it tough in different ways.
"But our kids don't know any different. I'm missing the support network. But I just keep thinking I'm so glad we don't live in America. How lucky we are."
Mrs Koneig said anyone who wanted to support the bid to have Horsham on Sunrise should email a good news story to the producers at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line 'Horsham help', and CC her in at email@example.com.
She believes the producers will pick the city or town from which it receives the most emails.
"If people can email - it doesn't need to be a big long thing, just a paragraph," she said.
"There's so much we don't know about. It would be great to hear more stories and celebrate what our little town is doing."
She said she had received a reply to her own emails, saying producers were going through the applications.
Sunrise weather presenter Sam "Sam Mac" McMillan has also liked a few posts on her Instagram page, @LessonsfromOskar.
Overall, Mrs Koenig said regardless of the outcome, it was a good opportunity to celebrate Horsham's sense of community.
"It's just for fun - to put a smile on people's faces," she said.
Bella Madre's Ms Deckert was thrilled to be part of Mrs Koenig's Sunrise bid.
She has shared not her own story, but someone else's, with the Sunrise team.
"I'm really, really touched Sallie thought of me," she said.
Some of the stories shared so far
It would be great to have Horsham recognised by Sunrise... such a wonderful community with some amazing people seeking to do their bit to make a difference in these strange times!
One example I would like to share... 'Young G', a group of young migrants (13 to 18 yrs old) who are seeking 'social settlement' in their new home town. They are always looking for opportunities to give back and make a difference.... here is one story:
Part of the Young G social settlement activities has included planting trees with a local landcare group, they have been and visited the snow and danced in traditional costumes for local people & activities. At each of these events photos have been taken, so with Covid-19 creating so much isolation for people we had 8 of the Young G photos designed into a postcard (with a yellow theme) and had them printed.
These postcards were then circulated to the members of Young G, who got together, chatted on Zoom about how these cards might brighten peoples day. Then they set about writing beautiful notes (telling people to take care, and they were thinking of them ) on the back of the postcards. We have since collected these postcards and distributed nearly 100 of them to people in and around Horsham.
40 were distributed to leading volunteers in and around Horsham on Anzac day, along with crocheted poppies and homemade Anzac biscuits. I am pleased to say the Centre for Participation has received some lovely phone calls of appreciation, noting how lovely the postcards were.
Julie Pettett, Centre for Participation chief executive
Love your neighbour
Just wanted to add my thoughts as to why Sunrise coming to Horsham would be a fantastic idea. I am sure these have already been mentioned by other people but I thought I would mention them all the same.
Horsham Rural Council have been working in partnership with Headspace Horsham, to come up with ideas to engage young people and to assist them if they are feeling physically isolated. There have been virtual 'challenges' from scavenger hunts to cooking challenges to netball shooting challenges. The idea is to ensure that while people are physically isolated, this does not mean they have to be socially isolated
A Facebook group has been created called 'Love Your Neighbour Horsham (VIC) COVID-19 inspired local connection'. This group has provided databases with people's names who have offered to help, with volunteer admins matching people who have offered assistance to those who have requested assistance. This has inspired another page that allows local cafes and pubs to advertise what specials they have for lunch or dinner and to provide information to customers as to hours and if there is a delivery option.
Volunteers and cafes have worked together to provide pay it forward coffees for essential workers where any person can go into a café pay for one or more coffees and an essential worker can get one for free.
Agencies have worked together to provide information and resources, with a central phone number generated that is a one stop shop for people who need information about services and assistance.
We were the original town who had the world record for the most amount of people doing the Nutbush. This was an innovate way for council to raise funds to assist with the refurbishment of our beautiful town hall.
There are many people, without advertising what they are doing, who are going above and beyond to assist those who need it or do not have any supports around them.
What I do want to highlight though is this: most of these things I listed don't make us any different from any other town. What is significant about Horsham is that we have always been like this. We have always been kind, looking out for each other, assisting where necessary with a huge volunteer base and a host of people who give up their own time to assist others. While it is important to highlight the heroes during times of crisis, it is vital to recognise the towns that kindness and community spirit is an ordinary way of life. Horsham is like that. COVID-19 has not brought out any new behaviours in people... it has just highlighted them because people are talking about it. And when this is over people will still be kind, empathic and present. How people treat each other in Horsham will be the same as it always has been.
We get forgotten about up here. Locals often joke that Victoria ends at the arch in Ballarat (Avenue of Honour). We get fires, floods and drought although not as severely as other areas. Horsham rides it all out because we are a strong community. Always have been, always will be. So while it is great to focus on towns that have gone through so much, it is equally important to focus on towns where kindness is part of everyday life.
Melissa Kenealy, headspace Horsham youth counsellor
My name is Loucas, I'm 28 years old, raging homosexual and advocate for the LGBTIQ+ community, I'm a disability support worker and I live in Horsham, Victoria. Please read below as to why I think Horsham should be considered for the H in your virtual "Alphabet of Towns" - if you will.
I wanted to do more and support those directly around me, my friend Elise designed a poster and together we distributed this to 300 houses around my neighbourhood. Along with this letter we put the directory that the the "Love Your Neighbour" local team put together so people had a go-to-guide as not every person is on social media. This was met with some beautiful responses from people through text, phone call and I've done a grocery shop for little old Lorna in my street, bless her.
I'm a proud committee member of the Wimmera Pride Project and we have been keeping in touch (virtually) during this time and looking at doing virtual events in the upcoming weeks/months. We are trialling a virtual "Queer Beers" and will be looking to host a Netflix watch party of an LGBTIQ+ film with more events to follow. This can be a really challenging time to lose all social events as an LGBTIQ+ person as living rural/remote is already mentally challenging for a lot of people. We have people who travel up to 2-3 hours for events and we can't wait to be up and going again.
I'm also a committee member for the Horsham Arts Council and unfortunately we have had to postpone our latest show to which was scheduled for May 2020 to May 2021. A tough decision but we have tried to keep the love alive by uploading content to our Facebook page of local people singing a song which has had positive responses.
Local business' that have stayed open are providing takeaway meals even with some places dropping their prices to make it affordable to families as a thank you for their support during this time (shout-out to Moe's Mexican Bar and Grill).
Even though I have focused mainly on things that I have done during this pandemic there is a thriving community in Horsham and so many beautiful and generous people helping out wherever they can.
There are so many people helping out, it's the country way, it's our way.
I've been asked to send you some information about how the Horsham Youth Council is helping young people during these covid times and why we think Horsham is a great town! The Youth Council along with Horsham Rural City Council and headspace Horsham have been running online activities for young people to keep them occupied while stuck at home. These have included daily scavenger hunts, TikTok dance challenges, trick shot challenges, cooking, art, singing and acting challenges. We even held a song writing competition and the winner was interviewed by the local radio station and they played a section of her song!
I believe we have been helping young people through these times by giving them something to do and providing entertainment for the people following our social media pages. I've attached a few examples of some of the entries we've received. You can also check out our socials below or search #wimmerayouth
Annie Mintern, Horsham Rural City Council youth services planning and engagement officer
Ticking all the boxes
G'day, I have, except for a short stint in Melbourne, been all of my 81 years in this loveable town of Horsham. I have watched it grow, Whilst I enjoyed it, clever people have nurtured it, while silly people fumbled,and it still became a kind and true friend and haven! Part of it is still called Haven. Where else, could you, and your family, be under the umbrella of Health care, excellent start to finish education ( 3 colleges, and trade school, plus part University,) a community with a low crime rate, well maintained sporting facilities( footy, cricket, tennis basketball, soccer , hockey), indoor and out swimming pools with gymnasium. Plus top class golf course with greens; 4 bowling clubs, 2 croquet greens 10 pin bowling; indoor tennis courts, and table tennis! Not to mention small-bore, long range target, trapshooting pistols. All running to safety and lock-up regulations, oh, nearly forgot archery! Privately run gymnasiums, excersize facility's,3 or more dance schools, for art-inclined 2 theatre groups performing plays, dance, musicals of impressive quality, in a fully lighted, flown, sound equipped stage, to house 500 seats. The same building houses The Heritige Hall, seating up to 400 if required, or adaptable for Deb balls, conferences, dinners And etc.
The "Mack Jost" Collection, is housed within the same walls, in a spacious gallery of several exhibition spaces for a variety of works .
Just for movie fans, a 3 theatre picturehouse sits in the CBD.
If travelling, you can enjoy a break from the road, travelling from the west at May Park, or from East, along the river, or Sawyer Park. Alongside, is Anzac Park, where well laid out Memorials pay tribute to the area's service in conflicts. A reflection on Horsham's values! Someone important said that, and the plaque is displayed at the well tended, and laid out cemetery.
Enough of the dreary, we are a happy, welcoming ,hospitable lot here, you willl not find a better place, to retire, have fun, raise kids, entertain or be entertained, make a quid, or spend it, indulge in your favourite pursuit.
Here we are!
I recently met a couple from Singapore just moved here, they had researched Aussie well, and set their criteria up against their wishes!
Horsham ticks ALL the boxes - stable, caring, preparing, - in this era of COVID-19.
I'm reaching out on behalf of the Horsham Rural City Council Supported Playgroup Team to display our work towards helping one another in Horsham during Covid-19.
Our program connects eligible vulnerable families with a facilitated playgroup where play, connection and learning happens for both children and caregivers. Families are often long term attendees and valued the time getting out of the house to do something with their children aged 0-5.
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions we can no longer meet face to face, so we now deliver online content. 3 times a week at 10.30 families can tune into our HRCC Playgroups Facebook page to view either myself or my colleague Sarah delivering a range of content including tips for families, action songs, interactive stories, craft and other activities.
In addition to this, families who have attended Playgroup in 2020 are having activity packs delivered to their door, contact free to enable them to take part in the video craft ideas as well as some added extras such as music CDs and further home based activity ideas. The ideas are budget friendly and are aimed to be able to be done at home with things found around the home.
The next stage of our virtual playgroup rollout will include live streaming to families so we can increase our social connection and a partnership with Wimmera Toy Library to lend toys to families.
Throughout this time we continue to recognise that we are such a supportive community here in Horsham and work towards meeting the needs of our community members. We look forward to the time when we can come together as a Playgroup community again, but until then we aim to let our members know that we are here to help.
Bernadette Thursby, supported playgroup facilitator
Other good news stories
- Kindness amid coronavirus as Horsham residents launch Love Your Neighbour group
- Horsham mum Bree expresses milk and kindness during coronavirus pandemic
- Want to help your neighbours? Here's one easy way to do it
- Wimmera children and aged care residents strike up a 'pen pal' friendship
- Horsham residents unite to provide coffee for healthcare workers
- Horsham resident Marg blown away by special acts from neighbours
- Wimmera children connect by chasing rainbows and going on bear hunts
- Wimmera rescue groups say dog adoptions up as people stay at home
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