I stayed at the Collinsville Town and Country Hotel and that old Slim Dusty song rattled around my head. People were friendly and called out g’day to friends and the flow of workers in neon shirts passing in and out of town, adding the occasional O to the ends of names. Collinsville is a town with a visible history, and even the mines have names “Jacks pit” for one. The coal has been mined there since 1912 and the trade unions and Labor have played a large part of the history of the town. It’s original name was “Moongunya” place of coal. The old Queensland timber architecture, houses on stilts, backyard orchards and the occasional backyard dunny reveal another eras. There are murals and signs that tell stories about the history of the town and its people. The drive there was through forests and ranges, on curving roads with peregrins circling overhead..
I dragged in my big suitcase of art materials and the chidren gathered around peering at what I had brought. A small boy asked “are you going to play all the parts?”
Here are a few photos from the trip and workshops at St John Bosco (the patron saint of magicians!) and Collinsville Primary Schools.
The children have created vegetable gardens at both schools, and are learning about Australian history. Ned Kelly was a popular choice of image for their t shirts.
I stopped in Bowen on the way back for a quick paddle before catching the plane from Proserpine.