Wandoan Greener Ovals

The region’s drought has left the fields dry, with the school unable to afford the cost of irrigation.

For the students who play on the ovals, prickles and burrs are common-place. However, most students avoid the oval altogether. They stick to a small patch of grass, about the size of a netball court, which is irrigated.

That’s all about to change thanks to the Greener Ovals Project.

For two years the school’s Parents and Citizens' Association (P&C) has been working to make the project a reality. It provides access to water from Western Downs Regional Council’s water treatment plant to keep grass growing.

The council is on board, but installing tanks, pipes, pumps and laying turf at the school costs a lot of money.

This prompted the P&C to apply for funding through last year’s round of the Shell’s QGC Communities Fund. They were successful, and the assistance has been crucial to making the Greener Ovals Project a reality.

“Without this fund we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we are going to achieve this year,” P&C president Greg Zillman said.

“It’s getting harder and harder to fundraise in small towns. It is possible but for a project of this size we needed funds to help get us over the line.”

Greg says the Greener Ovals Project will be finished by the end of 2019. As a past student and parent, he can’t wait to see the kids running around on the school’s ovals enjoying their sports.

“They’re excited as,” he said.

“I always get approached and asked when’s it going to be finished by the school’s kids and they’re absolutely stoked with it and I can’t wait to see them all fall over on the green grass and have a bit of fun.

“It also benefits the wider community and tourism and allows us to run other events at the school, so that we can become more dependent on fundraising ourselves.”

The latest Shell’s QGC Community Fund round is open until 5pm on 31 August and Greg is encouraging other community organisations to take advantage.

“We weren’t sure this was going to happen, but we got there, and I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity.”