Students take up cinema cause

By Cobram Courier

Cobram’s youth has thrown its unwavering support behind the Community Cinema Project — which has hit something of a speed hump.

In a powerful show of unity, the student representative councils of all Cobram schools as well as Barooga Primary gathered at Cobram Secondary College last Monday where a collective sentiment to push the project forward was agreed upon.

The student leaders had the chance to listen to Rob Morey — the secretary-treasurer of Cobram Cinema Community Inc — who encouraged them to take ownership of the project if they wished to see it come to fruition.

‘‘The fact all the schools are involved is a wonderful thing and a great indication of why the cinema is wanted,’’ Mr Morey said.

He said he believed it was important that the young people of Cobram were empowered to lead the project into the future.

‘‘They did ask me the question of what do I want done — but I told them it is largely up to them,’’ Mr Morey said.

‘‘Being a youth-driven project, I can support them — but I don’t want to be telling them what to do.

‘‘We will back them in and we will get the project for the young people of Cobram and for the broader community,’’ he said.

While the community has unquestionably put its heart and soul into the new cinema, Mr Morey feels certain people have let it down.

‘‘I have to say, our politicians have been very disappointing with their support given the fact so many young people have been involved.

‘‘But in saying that, I am really buoyed by the fact the young people here still want to push it along — it makes it all worthwhile,’’ he said.

The new cinema needs $500000 to go ahead and the funding tally currently sits at $340000, which has either been donated or is committed.

Mr Morey believes no matter the final outcome, the project will leave a lasting legacy.

‘‘I think the project will go ahead but let’s assume it didn’t, the youth of Cobram are still the winners because they have proved beyond doubt that they are prepared to do something for their community.’’

After Mr Morey’s presentation, students sat down in groups and brainstormed ideas that could help breathe life back into the project, both in an awareness sense and from a fund raising point of view.

Cobram Secondary College principal Kimberley Tempest said the excitement in the room was palpable and some of the ideas were bigger than Texas.

‘‘We also spoke to them about what could be achievable, doable, a quick easy win — and they had a number of those,’’ Mrs Tempest said.

‘‘My feeling is each school will have a slightly varying emphasis on what they do but it looks like they will all be committing to an out-of-uniform dress-up day and bake sale.

‘‘What I got a real sense of was that the kids were genuinely excited to be involved,’’ she said.

Cobram Secondary College student and SRC representative Ellie Jones echoed Mr Morey’s view that young people in the community essentially needed to drive the project.

‘‘It was a youth initiative to begin with and I think it got a little lost because some of those people that initially came up with the idea left the area for university and things like that and the rest of us haven’t really been on board to this point because we were too young,’’ Ms Jones said.

‘‘I think it’s really important that as a collective we all agree that this is still relevant and something we really want and are willing to fight for,’’ she said.

Ms Jones said the plan was that all school student representative councils would meet again early next year to evaluate how the different awareness strategies worked and what they could do for the project in the future.