On 8 December the Dusseldorp Forum team and members of our board jumped on a short flight to Dubbo then hit the long road to Bourke, NSW to join the community in celebrating Community and Philanthropy Partnership Week (CPPW) 2016.

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CPPW is an initiative supported through the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership and managed by Philanthropy Australia in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal. It provides a chance for grassroots community groups and their philanthropic partners to showcase and promote the great things they have achieved together.

The celebrations began with a wild dust storm that had swept across the country all the way from Broome, WA. It temporarily disrupted the town’s electricity supply requiring the evening’s awards dinner to be postponed until the following day. A dust storm was hardly enough to bring Bourke to a standstill though and we all reconvened at the Bowling Club, the lucky ones with a generator, to enjoy an impromptu dinner with what must have been half the town. It turned out for the best, it was a great night meeting new people and having a chance to informally catch up with our partners. lunch After some smooth rearrangements by the amazing Maranguka team the CPPW Awards Lunch took place the following day at the Memorial Hall. In attendance were philanthropic partners, local services, NGOs, government, elders and community members who have all been instrumental to the success of the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project in 2016. Awards were presented to those who had given their time and expertise in delivering the Safe, Smart and Strong Strategy throughout the year.

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After lunch we headed to Davidson Oval for the community day where local young people and their families were invited to enjoy a free BBQ, sunset cinema, touch football, free entry to the swimming pool, cultural activities and a very popular waterslide. Santa made a guest appearance with the Bourke fire brigade and the kids joined the band Tangled Weed in keeping everyone thoroughly entertained.

We felt honoured to be invited on country for this special occasion and had a great time with the multi-talented young people of Bourke. A very big thanks to everyone who donated goods and time to make the celebrations happen and huge congratulations to the Maranguka team for the quality work they do everyday. We absolutely love working together and look forward to another great year in 2017.