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Art and history at this year’s Kilsyth Chelodina Festival

Published on 13 October 2017


Learn about the artistic and indigenous history of Kilsyth and surrounding areas at the Chelodina Festival at Elizabeth Bridge Reserve on Sunday 12 November.

The festival is run by the Friends of Elizabeth Bridge Reserve (FoEBR) and Kilsyth Community Action Group (KCAG) with a community grant from Yarra Ranges Council.

Kilsyth Community Action Group Chairman Mike O’Meara said the festival had grown since the first in 2014.

“It was started by FoEBR as a way of encouraging people to appreciate the environment which is why it was named after the Chelodina - a long necked turtle found in the Elizabeth Bridge Reserve lake system,” Mr O’Meara said.

“It’s a good opportunity to get involved with environmentally sustainable activities close to home.

“We are trying to achieve a village feel for local traders to show off their wares.”

The new approach to running the festival came out of the Kilsyth Community Plan which was supported by Council in 2016.

“We went to the community and consulted widely. People told us they wanted to get together and enjoy unique things together.”

 Cr Len Cox said the festival encouraged environmentally sustainable businesses and activities across the Yarra Ranges.

“People in the community attend to shop, play and eat locally, as well as be part of a supportive and happy community,” Cr Cox said.

“The festival encourages people to think about their impact on the environment, how we can better look after the recreation reserve and encourage environmentally sustainable practices.”

The festival will include stalls selling clothing, jewellery, crafts, food and drink, crafts, dance and choir performances as well as art and history presentations. There will be hand made goods for sale, a coffee van, sausage sizzle, ice cream van and activities for the family like making clay turtles.

Mount Evelyn Historical Society will present on the district’s indigenous history and there will be a talk on painter James Alfred Turner who lived in the area in the early 1900s.

Chelodina Festival

10am to 3pm

Sunday 12 November

Elizabeth Bridge Reserve Kilsyth

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