My mid semester break was a field trip, yo.
Myself and twenty other geography students, accompanied by Bill (lecturer) and Jess (female supervising assistant) were bundled off to Condobolin, the closest town to the geographic centre of New South Wales.
Our purpose was to check out the local economy there. We worked with the council to conduct a retail leakage survey (sort of) by surveying all the shops and houses to find out whether people spent their money in the town or went to bigger towns.
All up, it was a pretty bleak week. Condobolin is so isolated and drought stricken and off everyone’s radar. The council and the businesses work so hard to get their town up and running, but I don’t know how well they’ll go in the long run.
One thing that Condobolin does have going for it is that it is the hometown of Shannon Noll. For anyone who doesn’t know, he was the runner up in the first Australian Idol and went on to release some pretty mundane country pop music singles. Good work, Shannon.
He was back in town the same week we were there, and because we were so obviously not locals, people would stop us on the street, in the shops, in the pub, during surveys, to tell us that he was in town!! And in due course, we saw him. He came into the cafe where a few of us were getting our lunch and bought some chicken nuggets.