A path acknowledging Coldstream’s culture

Coldstream Primary School students took part in the launch event for the Coldstream Culture Walk. 275237_02 PICTURES: YRC

Coldstream Culture Walk has opened to the public acknowledging the local history, culture and connection to country along the path that spans through the town.

Art installations, snippets of history, a yarning circle and decorations by Coldstream Primary School students have been set up along the way, sharing the stories of Coldstream – a project that first started in 2014 through Coldstream Voice.

The launch event was held on Friday 25 March gathering the community and students, with Cr Fiona McAllister opening the walk.

“The finished cultural walk will now run from the primary school and preschool precinct, through Margaret Lewis Reserve and the Gateway, then along the highway to connect all of Coldstream,” Cr McAllister said.

“Along the way you’ll be able to read about parts of Coldstream’s history – such as the Model T allegedly buried below the Coldstream Oval, the hall that burned down twice and the memorial for Val Sheehan, a cornerstone of the community.”

The messages of kindness and pom poms now hanging from the trees along the walk at the north gateway shops were created by Coldstream students during lockdown.

Principal Phillippa Adgemis said the students wanted to create something as a sign of comfort for others.

“A couple of the older children were a bit concerned about the amount of anxiety in the community and the stress and unhappiness, and they were talking about what they could do to brighten up Coldstream,” Ms Adgemis said.

The path is also important to help the local younger generation connect with the region and community, while learning about its history.

“I really think it’s important that children have input into their community because it’s that sense of place that you really need and the more globalized we become, and the easier it is to move around, the more you need to know who you are and where you’ve come from and what your origins and roots are.”

Cr McAllister paid tribute at the launch to the community members who made this project a reality through Coldstream Voice.

“The need for a path connecting the town was identified during the community planning Council ran in Coldstream in 2014,” she said.

“Coldstream Voice then developed this idea further, gathering stories from community members through their Coldstream Stories project and formed a sub-committee, all of which has made this cultural walk a reality.

“This is a wonderful example of a project that meets the needs of the community, shaped by the people in that community, and I’m sure it will be enjoyed by people for many years to come.”

The Futures Past art installation on the path near Coombe on the cultural walk depicts a structure that would have existed in Coldstream’s early years. Made of two large glass panels, the artwork changes when viewed from different spots on the path. Boral Quarries funded the project alongside Council.