01 Jan Feds Contribute To Slim and Joy Statue Appeal
A $30,000 grant from the Federal Government has taken the fundraising for the Slim and Joy Statue Appeal over halfway.
Chairman of the Slim and Joy Statue Appeal Committee John Sommerlad said the committee had approached Member for New England Tony Windsor some time ago to request Commonwealth support to complement the funding from State and Local Governments
The statue, to be erected in Tamworth, will recognise the huge contribution Slim Dusty and Joy McKean have made to Australia’s musical heritage and for the important part they played in helping to establish Tamworth as Country Music Capital.
“Their active involvement over four decades has helped the Tamworth Country Music Festival become one of the world’s major music events,” said Mr Sommerlad. “They played a pivotal role in helping the city develop its Country Music Capital brand.”
Mr Windsor said he was delighted the “The Slim and Joy Statue” will receive $30,000 from the Federal Government.
“Tamworth and the New England owe Slim Dusty and Joy McKean a great deal for their contribution over many years to making Tamworth ‘Country Music Capital’ as well as their great contribution to the Australian Country Music Industry.
“The benefits have flowed to the region with many visitors making the pilgrimage to Tamworth for the festival now for 40 years.” Mr Windsor said.
“It was an honour for me to act upon the request of the Slim and Joy Statue Committee to seek a $30,000 contribution. I congratulate the committee on its efforts and thank the Federal Government for its contribution along with all the other very kind contributors to the statue,” Mr Windsor said.
To be created by well-known sculptor Tanya Bartlett, the statue will be sited in a prominent position in the city’s CBD. It is anticipated it will quickly become a major tourist attraction after it is unveiled in January 2014.
With about half the required funding being covered by Government grants, the pressure is now on the Tamworth community and the country music fraternity to contribute the balance. Already fundraising has commenced and donations from all over the nation are being received for the project which will cost $180,000.
Slim & Joy’s beloved touring car Old Purple made a rare appearance as a part of the 2012 40th Tamworth Country Music Festival Country Music Cavalcade. Old Purple will be featured in the new Slim Dusty Centre in Kempsey which is expected to open in 2013. Pictured with the float are members of the Slim Dusty Family (from left): David Kirkpatrick, Hanna & Daniel Kirkpatrick, Joy McKean & Anne Kirkpatrick.