The Big Bus is coming.

June 29, 2012

On Monday July 9 a bus load of students from the University of Technology in Sydney will arrive in Bingara for an overnite stay. The students will be the guests of Gwydir Shire Council and Bingara and District Vision 2020.

Organised by Emma Charlston, daughter of former Bingara resident Bob Charlston, the students will be in Bingara as part of a “self awareness” tour where they engage with rural communities and exchange a day of their labour for meals and accommodation.

The Living Classroom Bunkhouse
The Living Classroom Bunkhouse and Classroom in Bingara nearing completion.

The students will stay at the new Bunkhouse at The Living Classroom. On the Monday night they will enjoy a home cooked meal donated by Bingara folk and hear a presentation about country life and the Living Classroom Project in Bingara.

“In some ways the visit of these students is like the Oz Experience bus all over again,” said Vision 2020 President Rick Hutton. “They are of a similar age to the backpackers who during the 1990’s changed the way Bingara was seen by the rest of the world through their experience, and changed the way Bingara people viewed young tourists.”

“The big difference is that these students are mostly Aussie city kids, and our opportunity is to engage with them through education rather than recreation,” Rick added.

The Living Classroom Steering Committee hope that this visit will be the first of many busloads of students, from tertiary, secondary and primary institutions who will see Bingara as an ideal place to experience country life and the Living Classroom as the ideal venue to base themselves.

“With this particular group the deal is that we provide them with meals and accommodation in exchange for a day’s labour,” Rick Hutton explained. “We have arranged for some planting, digging and irrigation tasks to be done by them around the feature lake at the Living Classroom. Future groups will continue in this way to build, sow and grow the food plants that will provide fresh food, and an experience in gardening and agriculture,” he said.

GSC and V2020 welcome any helpers from within the Bingara community who would like to assist in making the visit of these students a great experience. The Bingara Lions Club will cook breakfast for them on the Tuesday morning and dinner on the Monday night will be a soup, stew and sweets offer donated by Bingara community members. If you would like to meet the students and can contribute towards the dinner please let Rick Hutton know on 0428 255380 and come to the Roxy from 6:00pm, Monday July 9.

Submitted by Rick Hutton, President Bingara and District Vision 2020.