The NSW town of Walcha is quite a surprise. For a place with a population of around only 1600 it has a rich history: sheep farming, cedar, gold and slate mining for starters. In 1950 a Tiger Moth was the first aircraft to spread superphosphate in Australia. More recently Walcha Telecottage was established, which aids interaction between local communities with job training, education and internet services, and also produces the Apsley Advocate, a free and widely distributed weekly newsletter. Walcha has significant buildings, significant natural beauty, significant flora and fauna, notable sports people and artists, and a swag of OAM-awarded residents. And if that’s not enough, there are 41 pieces of open-air art around town! The sculptures are outstanding, and I was particularly taken with this figurative work, by Tom Deko, made from oil drums.

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