Tom Curtain and the community of Boolarra netted themselves the Latrobe City Event of the Year for 2020.
Last year, when singer-songwriter and horse and dog trainer, Tom, brought his Speak Up Tour to Boolarra, the community wholeheartedly threw their support behind the concept.
The Boolarra Community Development Group with the Boolarra Community Hotel hosted the event to raise awareness of bullying and won the 2020 Australia Day Event of the Year.
Touched by the death of teenager, Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett, Tom penned the song ‘Speak Up’ to help give young people the courage and strategies to deal with bullying.
“The Boolarra community really got hold of the concept and ran with it,” Tom said.
“They did so much with the advertising and got so many community groups involved in the event with more than 1500 people at the event. There were even little children painting Speak Up on t-shirts and the Bairnsdale Horse Centre came with all the Dolly’s Dream merchandise.
“There were also so many stalls set up and donating back to Dolly’s Dream and it was just such an awesome concept that came to fruition.”
Tom said the show centred around the interaction between people of all ages and the animals, mixed with the messages within the songs.
The We’re Still Here Tour continues this concept with the first half of the show focused on horse and dog training methods and education with interaction from the crowd, and the second half being live music performed by Tom and special guests.
“It was really evident that day that everyone came together and participated within the show itself and people come together from all walks of life catching up with mates and checking in with other people which was an amazing thing to see,” Tom said.