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Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival

Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson was born in Orange on 17 February 1864. We celebrated the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2014 with a community festival. Since then, Orange has run an annual festival. Each year, the Rotary Club of Orange partners with Orange’s tourism organisation (Orange 360), the Orange and District Historical Society, the Yeoval community and the Councils of Orange, Cabonne and Blayney to celebrate Australian poetry. This celebration, the Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival includes:

  • An Australian Poetry Competition for poets reciting their own original poetry
  • A Family Market Day with walk-up bush poetry as entertainment
  • Inspection of the restored Emmaville Cottage from the property on which Banjo Paterson was born
  • Displays and activities at Yeoval in conjunction with the exhibition “Banjo Paterson – more than a poet”
  • Breakfast and poetry in the Civic Centre precinct, Orange
  • Birthday celebrations for Banjo Paterson’s birth in Orange

The 2020 and 2021 Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festivals were reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions but still included:

  • Talented poets from across Eastern Australian competing for good prize money
  • School students learning and reciting poetry
  • Family markets
  • Walk-up poetry events in parks, pubs and wineries

Details of the Festival are available on the Banjo Festival page of this website. It is held in February each year to coincide with Banjo’s birthday.

Some of the poems from previous years’ poetry competitions are available on the News and Events page of this website for your enjoyment.

Sustainable Living Week

The Rotary Club of Orange has a keen interest in helping the community be more sustainable and efficient in its energy and water use and its minimisation of waste. We therefore organise a week of activities in each year focused on education about sustainability. Rotary partners with the Orange City Council, Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange (ECCO) and Netwaste to raise awareness about simple ways of saving energy and water and reducing waste.

Sustainable Living Week features a Schools’ sustainable cooking challenge. School teams are given a box of ingredients and asked to prepare a main meal for judging, based on innovation, taste, and efficient use of the food. This event always draws a good crowd.

Keep checking this News and Events page of this website for details of our Sustainable Living Week.

Learning for Life

We provide support for 20 school students through the Smith Family’s Learning for Life Program. This program assists families with school expenses and provides social, educational and welfare support throughout their child’s primary and secondary education. The Rotary Club of Orange has committed to giving this support for several years, thus providing continuity and stability in these children’s education.

BBQ lunches at the Orange Hospital

On the last Friday of each Month the Rotary Club of Orange sells BBQ lunches at the Orange Health Service (The Hospital) on Forest Road. This not only raises some money to spend on local health and education causes, but also provides a lunch alternative for hospital staff and visitors.

Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge

See the Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge page in this website for more information

Narrambla Homestead Restoration Project (Emmaville Cottage)

The Rotary Club of Orange coordinated the removal, relocation and restoration of the ‘Cottage’ from its original location on the Narrambla Estate to its new location near the Botanic Gardens (still on the Narrambla Estate).

  • Narrambla (Nyrambla) was a property of 1920 acres granted to Simeon Lord (ex convict, wealthy trader, influential public servant) in 1820. The original mill on the property is believed to have been built by his son George Lord. The property was sold in the 1840’s.
  • The Cottage is the oldest home standing in Orange – imported as a kit home from America and built around 1850 by the Templar (Templer) family
  • Banjo Paterson was born on this property on 17th February 1864 and was his parents’ first child. They travelled from an area near Obley (now Yeoval) to be near family for his birth. His great aunt Rosamund was married to John Arthur Templar.
  • Relocated to the Orange Botanic Gardens precinct, land that is within the westertn boundary of the original Narrambla property, the Cottage has been restored as an historic building showcasing the history of North Orange.
  • There are many facinating stories about North Orange’s history, local families and local industries that are contained in a booklet “Banjo Paterson and his birthplace ‘Narrambla’ Orange”, written as part of this project.
  • The restored Cottage is now the property of Orange City Council and will be an educational, tourist, historical and public interest venue for Orange, easily accessible to families, school groups and tourists with plenty of parking and picnic facilities.
  • The Cottage and gardens will be an outstanding venue for family reunions, wedding photos, picnics and sunset watching with its spectacular high profile location and magnificent views of Mt. Canobolas.

The Cottage was the focus for the celebration of Banjo Paterson’s 150th birthday on 17 February 2014.

The Rotary Club of Orange provides free guided tours of the Cottage on request with information about its history. Contact the Orange Visitor Information Centre for bookings or call Len on 0428 459 117

Narrambla Restoration Project in Pictures – click any image to enlarge.