John Fairfax AO to judge Animals on Bikes

John Fairfax AO, the Chairman of the Royal Agricultural Society Foundation (RASF) and former Director of Fairfax Media and Past Chairman of Rural Press , Australia's largest publishers of regional and agricultural news and information has accepted the invitation to judge and attend the Animals on Bikes presentation night on Saturday 26th November 2011.

Local Rural Achiever and ex-Miss Cumnock Showgirl, Rebecca Staines won $25,000 for the community's project from RASF to help strengthen and improve the new tourist trail initiative stretching 120km from Molong to the Dubbo Zoo, via Cumnock and Yeoval.

Eight show societies were offered $1,000 for materials to build an "Animal on a bike" sculpture to promote their local show and their farming community town; while 10 local schools received $500 each in order to produce a sculpture that represented their community.

Many farmers are keeping their designs and masterpieces secret until judgment day, however it has been revealed that the Wellington Show society has created a "Horse in Wellington Boots on a bike" and the Parke's Show society is representing Elvis, the Dish and the Parke's Boars team in their masterpiece.

Although the Animals on Bikes project commenced in 2009, the generous $25,000 RASF grant Rebecca received will assist with the second phase of the initiative that will take the number of sculptures on permanent display from 40 to 100.  This growth will promote the entire area across 6 local council areas and many small villages.

The Animal on Bikes project addresses some of the varied challenges faced by small country towns including; declining population, unemployment, struggling rural businesses as a result of drought and traffic that bypasses on major highways and lack of tourist attractions to draw visitors.

"We believe the number of tourists, especially caravanning couples has increased since the word has been out about the Animals on Bikes tourist drive. We have seen many tourists come through our doors especially on weekends which has helped to increase trade for us in what has been a relatively tough time for local businesses in general" (Gail Curtis , Gift & Homeware House Yeoval).

"The morale of the farming families involved in the project has visibly lifted. It seemed to strengthen the community spirit of all of the towns involved" (Amanda Murdoch, "Tindoo", Molong).

The judging and presentation night for "Animals on Bikes" sculpture competition is Saturday 26th November 6-9pm at the Cumnock Crossroads building with a wine tasting and photographic exhibition of all new sculptures.

We welcome Mr John Fairfax AO, his wife Libby and Jocellin Jansson (RASF Executive Officer and originally from Narrabri) to the Central West and wait in anticipation for their announcement of the sculpture winners next month.  For more information and to enter go to

Posted By mick on 27th October 2011

Updated : 30th November 2011 | Words : 456 | Views : 3119

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