Emma Rossi, broadcaster and charity board member, was the perfect choice to be the Australia Day ambassador at Cooma’s celebrations – she felt right at home.
Cooma is where her parents courted and also where she did as well as a young woman. The ninth child in a 10-child family, Emma has many bush connections and spent some of her time living on a farm in the Pilliga.
Her rural ties run deep and she is now involved with a groundbreaking community charity called Active Farmer, which helps farmers become fit through exercise classes. The idea started at Mangoplah near Wagga, and now there are 20 Active Farmer fitness sites in NSW and Queensland. The group hopes to set up a new fitness site at Jindabyne soon.
“Surprisingly a lot of farmers with technology now are very sedentary, so this gives them a chance to get fit and connect with people in their local communities. It’s great for their mental health too.”
Ms Rossi also sits on the board of a domestic violence charity Mary’s House in lower north shore of Sydney. She has been an ambassador on several Australia Days, including at Narrabri, and says it is a chance for everyone to celebrate. She does though think careful consideration should be given to changing the date as many Aboriginal people feel it is day they cannot be involved in.
She said Australia Day was about stories, and sharing stories and was a community builder.
Cooma celebrated in its big park with concerts, face painting, a session by local country musician Jay Podger, and a vintage car show. And if you missed it it’s not hard to catch up. At nearby Bombala, Australia Day is always celebrated on the nearest Saturday so it coincides with the town’s `annual festival ! Nearby Numeralla held its annual folk festival.