Stories of Broadwater, Riley's Hill to be told through halls

Broadwater-Riley's Hill Hall and members of its loving hall committee. Photo Jules Ober
Broadwater-Riley's Hill Hall and members of its loving hall committee. Photo Jules Ober Contributed

THE small towns of Broadwater and Riley's Hill are celebrating after receiving word that their community hall has been chosen to take part in the region wide If These Halls Could Talk project.

The two-year project will see seven halls across the Northern Rivers, one from each local government area, have a renowned artistic team collaborate with their community to tell the story of their hall.

Kate Olivieri, who nominated Broadwater-Riley's Hill Hall, said that as far as she knew it was the newest, purpose-built community hall on the Far North Coast.

"As the name suggests, it is for two communities," she said.

"Locals are proud to share this resource."

If These Halls Could Talk is managed by Arts Northern Rivers, which earlier this year invited communities to nominate their hall.

Project manager Natalie Bull said they received more than 120 nominations from halls across the Northern Rivers.

"While only seven could be chosen, every hall in our region has a story to tell," she said.

Broadwater-Riley's Hill Hall was built in 1998 to replace the previous Mill Hall of the Sunshine Sugar Co-operative sugar mill, which was condemned in the early 90s.

Clarissa Henderson, a resident of 27 years, said from the day the new hall was built "it had a feeling that it was community owned".

"It's a friendly hall," she said.

Broadwater is one of two Northern Rivers towns that will be bypassed after the highway upgrade is completed in 2018.

Ms Olivieri said the project would help put the two towns on the map.

"It will be fantastic to have such a positive project to let travellers and other locals know it's a lovely place to visit," she said.

Communities across the Northern Rivers are invited to continue to share stories and images of their hall on the If These Halls Could Talk Instagram and Facebook pages as the project progresses.

The next phase of the If These Halls Could Talk project will see a community engagement coordinator and an artistic team embedded in the seven halls to create an artistic response to the history of the hall and its community.

Topics:  hall lismore

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