Corowa Free Press

Corowa welcomes Her Excellency

By Adrienne Hartnett

“Fascinating, interesting, and enriching.” These were the words from Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of NSW, describing Corowa after climbing off a header in Lowesdale.

The Governor embarked on a four-day exploration of the Southern Riverina district last week, beginning in Corowa followed by Tocumwal, Finley and Deniliquin, with a genuine desire to acquaint herself with the region.

Her whirlwind tour of Corowa commenced early Wednesday morning with a warm welcome from Federation Council.

Her next stop was the Amaranth Foundation where she learned about the vital community services provided by the organisation, including support services, accommodation and the food bowl service.

Led by Amaranth CEO Julianne Whyte OAM, Her Excellency gained insights into the impactful work carried out, spent time chatting to the Amaranth board and staff and learned of the challenges faced in the Federation Council region, such as homelessness, health care and the growing need for wrap-around care.

The Governor then visited Corowa Region Food Bowl where she was able to meet volunteers, participants and those using the Food Bowl to collect food, before returning to Amaranth for an afternoon tea and one on one discussions with staff and clients.

“Amaranth is a beautiful concept- to take people in from all walks of life and provide high level care is remarkable,” Governor

Beazley told the Free Press.

“It’s obvious how much of an essential service it is for the community.”

The Governor continued her journey, with students at Lowesdale Public School meeting with staff, P&C members, and some enthusiastic students.

The Governor enjoyed spending time connecting with the children and gaining insight into their experiences at the small, close-knit school.

The eight students shared about their interests, hobbies and favourite subjects at school.

“They are wonderful kids - very engaged and engaging,” she said after the visit.

The Governor, being so impressed by their enthusiasm presented each student with special NSW Governor General coins as a token of appreciation.

From the school, Her Excellency ventured to the Hicks family farm, hosted by Graeme and Rhonda, where the rhythms of rural life were on full display.

The family, honoured by the Governor’s visit, showcased their daily activities, with young Matilda and Imogen proudly sharing their chicken eggs.

Scott Hicks and his Bailey took Her Excellency for a ride in a header. An hour on the property concluded with the Governor presenting the family with a NSW Governor General coin, a gesture of gratitude for their hospitality.

Reflecting on her experiences, her Excellency shared with the Free Press, “It’s been very interesting and very enjoyable.”

The apex of the Governor’s Corowa visit was a Corowa Business Chamber formal dinner hosted by Corowa Distilling Managing Director Dean Druce.

Over 60 esteemed guests, including Mayor Pat Bourke and council members, gathered for an evening that seamlessly blended local hospitality with cultural richness.

The evening commenced with bagpipes resonating through the air, played by local talent Dylan Forge, and Uncle Dozer, in his Welcome to Country, highlighted the importance of cultural recognition, accompanied by a soul-stirring didgeridoo performance.

Her Excellency was also treated to a captivating demonstration of coopering by John and Kieran.

Guests enjoyed a showcase of local cuisine, fine wines, and whisky, accompanied by outstanding entertainment from Dylan, Craig Quilliam, and the Corowa Festival of Dance led by Geoff and Elaine Mallows.

The night’s highlight was a progressive dance choreographed by Anthony Pepers, which saw enthusiastic participation from many attendees.

“The Corowa Business Chamber is proud to have facilitated this event showcasing our region’s strengths and focusing on enhancing liveability and visitation,” Corowa Business Chamber’s John Crothers said.

“We express our deepest gratitude to Her Excellency for her visit, to Dean Druce for hosting the event, and to all who contributed. We look forward to the opportunity to welcome Her Excellency back to our vibrant community.”

The following morning saw the Governor touring Rivalea, followed by a visit to the

historic pastoral property, Savernake Station, in Savernake.

In her parting words, the Governor encapsulated the essence of her visit, describing it as “a wonderful experience”.





McPherson Media