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Councillor Column – 23 August 2022

Aug 23, 2022

For Immediate Release 23 August 2022
Authorised by Councillor Joanne Mackay

I attended the Boorowa Woolfest Meeting last week and, as a born and bred Boorowa resident, I thought I would share with you the significance this Festival has for our town and the Hilltops area.

About ten years ago I was fortunate to visit St Remy in Provence France. St Remy, like Boorowa, is a wonderful little town known far and wide for its wool festival. I was reminded of the privilege of living in a small community in a special part of Australia.

During winter in St Remy flocks of sheep and goats are moved around the lowlands often keeping the grass under control in the vineyards and orchards. As the drier season arrives the stock are moved to higher ground. To celebrate the moving of stock, once done on foot over ten days, a traditional moving fête, the ‘Fête de la Transhumance’ is celebrated. It is without doubt the most famous festival in the south of France, which brings the highlands back to life with the arrival of the livestock.

The Boorowa Woolfest is our own celebration and has been running for a quarter of a century. It is one of the special events dear to the hearts of local people and is the result of a well-oiled collaboration of the hard working Woolfest committee and Hilltops Council. As in St Remy, the festival remains a wonderful celebration of a unique and special little town proud of its heritage and its pastoral prowess.

The Woolfest weekend is full of special events focusing on the importance of wool to our economy and its relevance and historical significance. There is a parade and running of the sheep as well as stalls and entertainment. It’s a day that reminds us of how lucky we are to live in a community that recognises our strengths and how to showcase this to anyone looking to understand what makes a regional town tick.

The festival also celebrates our Irish heritage that began in the 1820s. Saint Patricks Catholic Church was the first Catholic Church built west of the Great Dividing Range and is an incredible example of the faith and optimism our early settlers brought with them.

The architecture of the township is another reminder of how early residents looked to the future as the town thrived. The unfolding history of Boorowa is laid out in our Museum which pieces together our story from First Nations People to the changing face of today’s Boorowa.

I encourage everyone to support the return of the Woolfest after two years of Covid restrictions and welcome you to this part of our beautiful Hilltops.


Councillor Joanne Mackay

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