Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Dobell Electorate: Central Coast Country Music Association
I often share with the House many outstanding organisations and associations on the Central Coast of New South Wales. It is a pleasure to highlight another, which is a bit of a hidden treasure on the Central Coast, and it is known as the Central Coast Country Music Association. The CCCMA has proved its worth throughout the years and recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. The association was formed in 1976 when 17 country music enthusiasts met at Long Jetty with the intention to form a country music club on the Central Coast. Over the past 40 years the association has promoted country music and fostered new talent, all the while raising funds for numerous charities such as Riding for the Disabled, CareFlight, and spina bifida and cancer counsellors, as well as many community groups and individuals requiring help.
The association hosted their 40th anniversary celebration on 5 March at the Central Coast Leagues Club. The event featured past and present top-line artists and current members, along with some very special guests that have supported country music on the Central Coast over the years. As part of the celebrations, the association is releasing a compilation country music album consisting of past and present country music members. Over the years, the association has provided the Central Coast community with access to top-quality country music in the form of festivals, first at The Entrance Memorial Park and then later at Warnervale.
The association established the Warnervale Country Music Park, which was set on 11 acres of bushland with a natural amphitheatre. The park's creation was the result of the hard work of volunteers, consisting of the CCCMA members and their children, who cleared the virgin bushland to create a wonderful country music park facility which at the time was known and appreciated nationwide. The Warnervale Country Music Park, since renamed Federation Park by Wyong Shire Council, boasted many features, including a concrete stage, outdoor kitchen and children's play area. Sadly, the park is no longer in use by the association. In its day, the park hosted major shows with around 5,000 people in attendance and drew visitors from throughout New South Wales and interstate.
The success of the association in promoting country music has much to do with the dedication and commitment of its members—in particular, of three who remained active throughout their lives. The dedication, passion and commitment of Vera, Vince and Lyn McKenzie will never be forgotten. I also acknowledge the commitment and dedication to the association of six life members who served 15 consecutive years as active club members. Thank you to Clive McKenzie, Jim Waters, Kay Matthews, Ted J Kale and Helen and Ray Potter.
Over the past 40 years, the association has been a springboard for many successful acts. Music is such an important part of our lives and we are fortunate in Dobell to have a group dedicated to the promotion and creation of country music.