2017 LEGENDAIRY CAPITAL OF TASMANIA
Ringarooma’s community resilience came to the fore in 2011 when the local primary school was threatened with closure.
Not willing to give up on a 130-year-old facility central to the town’s viability, the community successfully fought against the State Government’s decision with a petition and letters.
Their success is testimony to the spirit that has driven Ringarooma in north-eastern Tasmania since the district was opened up to farming in the 1860s.
The Ringarooma valley was first explored in 1855 and the town was founded in 1882 when a rural property was subdivided into lots. It was initially known as Krushka Town, named after the original landowner, before being renamed Ringarooma in November 1888.
The name Ringarooma was derived from an Aboriginal word for happy hunting ground. The same name had been earlier used for a coastal town near Bridport, however that town was renamed Boobyalla.
Ringarooma Post Office opened in 1874 and the school followed in 1881. The Ringarooma History Room is housed in the original parish hall, built in the 1880s. The town was serviced by its own dairy factory for decades before its merger with United Milk in the early 1990s and subsequent closure.
The region is noted for its butter and cheese production as well as timber milling, and the bi-monthly Ringarooma Market gives local residents a chance to share their wares and produce.
Today, Ringarooma is a small rural service town on the Ringarooma River and surrounded by rich farming country near mountains such as Mount Victoria and Ben Lomond.
There are generations of families living in the area and the town’s dairy roots are well established and extremely well respected.
The campaign to save the school – now servicing 88 students, many from local dairy farms – is just one example of the local community spirit. Like any rural community, people rally to support their neighbours in times of need, while always keeping an eye on the future prosperity of the region.
Local residents have worked hard to raise money for the school, which continues to operate with ongoing community support for maintenance, gardening, landscaping and fencing.
Dairy farmers play their part in this community success story, donating $10,000 - $15,000 annually to the school by raising and selling calves, reinforcing the importance of dairying to the region.
Being named Tasmania’s 2017 LEGENDAIRY Capital will assist the Ringarooma School & District Show Committee to continue the renewal of a recreational area for students. This will include new signs for a bike track, chess pieces for a giant chess board and maintenance for the school’s defibrillator, which is available for the whole community to access.
The committee also has long-term plans to restore the school’s historical dairy which has fallen into disrepair and cannot be used. This would provide another connection for students to learn about their past and present dairy farming roots.