20 June 2023

Community turns out to celebrate local history at Kurrumbede Homestead

Gunnedah’s historic Kurrumbede property was transformed back to its former glory over the weekend, with many turning out for a 1930s inspired community open day, run by Whitehaven Coal and the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society.

The event saw people from across the region don their best garden party attire to explore the grounds of the historic property, which is located 25-kilometres outside of Gunnedah and was once owned by the family of famed poet Dorothea Mackellar.

Whitehaven Coal’s General Manager Community Engagement, Darren Swain, said the property has only been open to the public once in the last 100 years and the event was a fantastic day out for the whole community.

“This region has such a great history and it was fantastic to see so many people come out for the day to celebrate it,” he said.

“We had hundreds of people attend over the weekend to explore the Kurrumbede property and enjoy the free activities and historical demonstrations.”

The open day included sulky rides and vintage car and tractor displays, as well as whip cracking and working horse demonstrations.

Families also enjoyed activities and entertainment, including jumping castles, acrobats, stilt walkers and musicians, as well as local food vendors and market stalls.

President of the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society, Pip Murray, said the open day was all about celebrating the life of Dorothea Mackellar and her family’s connection to the region.

“The Mackellar family owned Kurrumbede for close to four decades in the early 1900s and it featured in some of Dorothea’s iconic poetry,” said Ms Murray.

“The event truly encapsulated the iconic heritage of the Gunnedah region and the lifelong connection Dorothea has with the community.”

As the current owners of the Kurrumbede property, Whitehaven Coal said it plans to hold this event again in the future.

“Kurrumbede is an iconic piece of local history and we want to ensure it is celebrated and shared for many years to come,” added Mr Swain.

“Whitehaven Coal is also investing significant funds to restore the property’s gardens as part of our Heritage Management Plan.”

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