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BBC reporter welcomed in Delungra

Delungra resident Philippa Raw interviewed on Sunday by BBC journalist Kate Beck.A WELCOMING party turned out to meet BBC reporter Kate Beck for her visit to Delungra on Sunday.

Residents Philippa Raw, Ann McNaughton and honourary resident Lorna Olgilvie set out trays of slices, sandwiches, pikelets and all the makings of a cuppa for their guest.

“I didn’t expect to have the level of welcome that I did, in the park,” she said.

“Everyone was so friendly and seemed genuinely happy to be asked about what they thought.”

Her mission was to discover how the community felt about being identified as the Australian post code with the lowest average income.

She found a delegation of locals who were happy to share the history of the town once humming with shops, dances, industry and activity, and their own stories and thoughts about what made Delungra special.

Kate asked the group how they felt about the tag of Australia’s poorest post code.

Life-long resident Robert Campagner said he was surprised when somebody asked if they were living in poverty by the statistic.

“I said, ‘No, it’s just a normal little town,” he said.

It makes us look like idiots or dole-bludgers, really. Look at some of the suburbs of Sydney are worse off than Delungra is.”

Ann said there were places across Australia with a lot of empty houses and shops.

“I doubt whether there’s many empty houses here,” she added.

Though the variety of people, from retirees, a young family, local producer and some life-long residents, Kate said they shared a story.

“Everybody had their version, but it’s a similar theme; volunteerism is really important here, it’s something that sets the town apart, and it’s just a nice place to live basically if you like a quiet life, it’s a really nice place to live.”

Life-long resident Jim Townsend agreed, and felt both newcomers and natives had a stake in the sustainability of Delungra.

“If you’ve been here for any length of time, you become part of a little town like this, and you don’t like to see it disintegrate like you do some of them, and we’ve tried to keep it together,” he said.

“Basically speaking it’s friendship.”

Local producer Tim Lloyd believed there was little to prevent his family from living both in the 21st century and the Delungra district.

“See, the little community, we’ve got all the access to the big world, all the information you’d want, but it’s about the quality of life, not having pocketfuls of money.”

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