Rodeo runs rich and deep in Australia's history. A sport with outback roots, where stockmen and drovers took their day-to-day skills and practices and turned them into an exhibition, eventually a competition, rodeo can be traced back some 150 years.
The Australian Rodeo Heritage Centre, in Warwick, is the home of this history, a space created back in 2006 to honour the spirit of Australian rodeo and the cowboy. And it is a space that's about to undergo a three-year re-invigoration project.
"It's pretty exciting to have the support of the Australian Professional Rodeo Association, local government and other institutions, to see us further collect and collate the sport's history - and provide for its future," ARHC committee spokesman Darryl Kong said.
"Hopefully we can further improve the centre, build the museum and provide a place where people can learn about what happened in the sport 70 years ago."
Together with the APRA, the ARHC committee is completing the community and stakeholder consultation process at present, with several key project points identified.
"We're working to build on the available funding opportunities after the drought and fires, bringing tourism back after COVID and, most importantly, collaborating with other key industries," APRA executive assistant Teilah McKelvey said.
"We will be working locally with other event committees, local artists, and our team of volunteers, to build on Warwick's 'horsepower capital' reputation with cultural and creative elements within the project."
The ARHC was originally funded by the Australian government through several regional development programs, the Warwick Shire Council and the APRA, so its fitting that the significant original investment continues to be acknowledged and further built upon.
"We hope to achieve a space that's immersive, that allows someone of any age to experience and enjoy the history of one of our country's most significant sports," Ms McKelvey said.
"And a place that continues to provide educational and enrichment opportunities for those who support and participate in rodeo."
With the next stage of the plan soon to begin, the ARHC committee is encouraging anyone with memorabilia, memories or stories from rodeo's rich history here in Australia to reach out via the APRA office in Warwick.
Entry to the ARHC during 2022 will be gold coin donation, with tour and group bookings welcome.
To follow the project, head to the APRA Facebook page or visit the website - prorodeo.com.au
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.