New lease on life for Hernani Hall – heart of the community

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Hernani Hall Gumbaynggirr Country - enjoying Small Halls Festival

Nestled on the traditional lands of the Gumbaynggirr People in the Clarence Valley, Hernani Hall has long served as the heartbeat of the local community. Its walls reverberated with laughter and joy, from generations of children performing in the local school’s Christmas production, through to various other community gatherings. However, the past five years have brought unprecedented challenges through fires, the Covid-19 pandemic and floods which have dampened community spirit.

Hernani Hall Gumbaynggirr Country - exteriorWith continued resilience and a grant through the Fire To Flourish Program, the Hernani Hall Committee embarked on a project to reinvigorate the hall and community spirit. Their vision: breathe new life into the hall, transforming it into a vibrant hub for music, food, and conversation.

The funding enabled essential renovations and upgrades. The worn exterior received a facelift, electrical systems were brought up to code and new equipment like urns and bain-maries ensured the hall could cater to events. Most importantly, the upgrades unlocked participation in the Small Halls Festival, a travelling event that ignites local communities through shared experiences.
The Festival of Small Halls rolled into Hernani on Wednesday, 31 May 2023 with local act Digby and Co opening the show. A joyous catalyst for healing and renewal, children danced with their families, neighbours exchanged stories and laughter, and a sense of belonging filled the space.

Hernani Hall Gumbaynggirr Country - Children playing with bubblesThe improved amenities and fostered connections empowered the community to take ownership of their hall once again. Ongoing events and activities now continue within its walls, from open mic nights to community barbecues. Hernani Hall’s story is a testament to the power of community and the transformative potential of shared spaces. In the face of adversity, they sought not just to rebuild, but to rekindle the heart of their community.


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