The U3A Hilights entertained the crowd.
The U3A Hilights entertained the crowd.

'Perfect' day at Caroona

THERE might not have been any thrill-seeking rides, woodchops or ring events, but some of the organisers of the latest show in the Clarence Valley wouldn't change a thing.

For 85-year-old UnitingCare Ageing Caroona Yamba resident Avery Austin (“they call me the bird cage”) it was perfect.

On Saturday the facility conducted its first show day as a way of connecting residents with the community. Many residents now find it difficult to get out in the community, so Caroona staff decided to bring the community to them.

And Mrs Austin couldn't be happier.

“We had a ball,” she said.

“I am going to start organising right away for next year.”

Nicole Sullivan, 84, had similar feelings.

The French-born, African-raised Australian resident of many years said it was “absolutely marvellous”.

“It is exactly what we needed,” she said.

“Everyone was happy. It was a beautiful thing.

“We all helped out because we wanted it to be perfect.

“It gave us a very warm feeling. It was like we were all together for the same thing.

“This (Caroona) is not just a home, it is our home and we want it to be perfect.

“We get marvellous support from the community. Everybody helped.”

UnitingCare area manager Simone Smith said up to 200

people had come to participate in the show day.

She said there was a wide representation from the community, including a lot of young families.

There were stalls, a sideshow alley, hoopla game, a magnetic fish game for the kids, table bowls, dancing, poetry readings, pavilion exhibits, cooking, a flower show, and a colouring-in competition – all judged by residents.

“It created a huge sense of community,” she said.

“They grew the flowers, baked the cakes, manned the stalls.

“We aimed to get 100% participation and I think we got that.

“I was very proud to see every-

one participate the way they did.

“It gave them a real sense of pride.

“It will be an annual event and will be bigger and better next year.”



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