By Jess Baker
Killarney could soon play host to a myriad of drawcard events, with a newly elected Killarney Area Promotion Association (KAPA) executive team eager to share the natural beauty of the town with others.
An entirely new KAPA management committee was appointed at the group’s AGM on Wednesday 15 September, comprising Killarney small business owners president Brian Thomas, vice president Tony Pearson, treasurer Juanita Rawle, and secretary Koral Brenner.
With about 30 members, 23 of whom were in attendance at the AGM, Brian said the group had been reinvigorated after lying low the past few years.
“The perception of KAPA over the last three to four years has deteriorated here and poor old Killarney has been sort of looked at as the poor cousin of the Southern Downs,” Brian said.
“We’re going back to the core business of promoting the area and Killarney as a village.”
Brian said members of the group’s new executive team were all “on the same page” and committed to putting together events that will showcase Killarney’s natural beauty.
He said KAPA was looking to stimulate interest in low-impact activities like mountain biking, hiking, and horse riding in a bid to draw new visitors, businesses, residents, and employment opportunities to town.
The group is also planning to host a Christmas festival in early December with a street and park presence, food vans, and special lights.
Despite only relocating to Cambanoora Gorge in March last year, two days before a Covid-19 lockdown, Brian said he recognised Killarney needed to better promote its assets.
“I got approached by some of the local businesses around here,” Brian said.
“Instead of being a whinger I decided to take the focus back onto promoting Killarney and the district.”
When former Spring Creek Cottages and Cafe owner Bev Rusky announced she would be retiring as KAPA president after moving away from Killarney, Brian decided to commit to the group.
He began recruiting locals, commenced talks with Southern Downs Regional Council about potentially opening up an explore centre in town, and prepared to “jump into the driver’s seat” of the association.
Brian said he was thrilled to be elected president on Wednesday evening and looked forward to filling the 2022 calendar with Killarney centric events.
For information about upcoming events at the ‘scenic gem of the Southern Downs’, keep an eye on KAPA’s website at killarney.org.au.