Eugowra Bootcamp To Slow The Flow

Sally Neaves (far right) and other bootcamp participants create models.


The next stage of our Institute’s ‘Slow the Flow – Eugowra’ project has commenced with a two-day bootcamp for farmers with scientists from the Mulloon Institute.


The workshop was attended by farmers from the specific creeks and tributaries that contribute to the Mandagery Creek system. This system caused the tragic flooding of Eugowra, New South Wales in 2022. Those gathered learned how to work with nature to slow the water down, as well as sinking and spreading it to rehydrate the whole landscape. These methods not only make the speed of the water less dangerous for residents but also increase farm productivity.


This stage of the project, involving education programs connecting farmers with leading experts in the field, has been provided with assistance from the Douglas Foundation, a Mercy International Association grant scheme. The next stage will involve further community engagement and on the ground works.


Four Sisters of Mercy attended the bootcamp including Sister Margaret Broadbent, who has been involved in the project since near the beginning. Here is her reflection:


Sisters Eveline Crotty, Patricia Powell and Margaret Broadbent at the bootcamp


After watching Sally Neaves, our Institute’s Integral Ecology Animator and Mission Ministry Resource Coordinator, present a very inspiring video in June last year about our Institute’s project on “Helping to slow the flow in Eugowra NSW”, I quickly responded to her invitation to ‘please reach out to me if you have any questions or would like to get involved’.


I rang Sally, accepted a three day invitation to ‘come and see’ and was sold on our Institute’s project. After moving into Mercy Place (ILU’s) Parkville, August 2020, having had two operations and a broken elbow in between, I had plenty of time to recover and discern what life had to offer.


Participants at the Eugowra Slow the Flow bootcamp


Coming to the point of readiness, the callings emerged; “Just Go”, “Take nothing with you on the journey”, “Be like a shining light”, and “Celebrate all the Glory in the Green Cross, Tree of Life”, “The Light Shone Green”, and with the “All Clear Ahead”, the journey began to support Sally and our Institute’s initiatives.


Having attended two sessions (2023-4) with over 70 farmers from around Eugowra, four scientists from the Mulloon Institute and seven Mercy Sisters supportive of the project, it is a real privilege to be part of such a supportive, vibrant and healing community.


Slow the Flow in Eugowra bootcamp


I was very taken with sincere expressions of gratitude by the head scientist from Mulloon Institute and young farmers who acknowledged the generosity of our Institute which enabled them to fully participate. It occurred to me the Mulloon Institute recognises the value our Institute holds with such projects and they sincerely commended us for our passion and commitment to supporting dedicated farmers on the land to “Slow the Flow” with the hope that such a flood will never happen again.


I hope to return another three times during this year to follow the leads: “Keep shining the light”, “Be with the people of Eugowra and offer support where needed”.


Advice from the locals is also very encouraging and heart-warming “Just go for it”… “Don’t worry about what others think or say”… “Keep the light on”… “It’s the right time”… “Keep moving”.


The door is open, the tomb is empty, “All glory to the Green Cross, the Tree of Life.”


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