For several years the Burra Bee Dee program has been run by the Coonabarabran Police led by David Mahner, the Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Lands Council and other volunteers to encourage better attendance at school. The children from local schools are picked up by volunteers engage in morning exercise, have breakfast and are taken to school. While several other group activities take place over the 10 weeks, last year children helped to create art in conjunction with the Koori Colours Art Gallery.
Jason (Jas) and Kez Russel and Alex Nixon of Koori Colours worked tirelessly with the children to impart local indigenous knowledge as well as the importance of art to the local culture and the town of Coonabarabran.
A large mural that contains the hand prints of participating children can be seen on the wall of the Aboriginal Lands Council passageway (next to the Jolly Cauli/Credit Union) and a special piece was presented last week to the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion by Mark Coulton- called Mutual Respect, it features a meeting place where everyone comes together.
The project has been shown to be successful in increasing attendance, reducing petty crime and helping with self esteem.