Monday, February 16, 2009

Tingha - a case study in community regeneration

TinghaPhoto: Tingha main street.

A short note this morning linked to another of my recurring interests. I will do a fuller post later on the New England Australia blog.

I have been interested in regional development for many years, driven in part by the seemingly inexorable decline of many areas in inland New England and, more broadly, country Australia as a whole. I have never accepted that this must be inevitable.

The small community of Tingha, an hours drive north west of Armidale, 15 minutes drive west of Inverell is a microcosm of the problem. This town has rich history. It developed with tin (it was once a major Chinese centre), but then declined as the tin declined.

At the last census, Tingha's urban population was 713, one third indigenous. The unemployment rate was over 18%, a further 30% worked part time. Thirty five per cent of the working age population gave their occupation as labourer. This has become one of the poorest communities in Australia measured by the conventional stats.

Now Tingha is trying to rebuild itself from the bottom up, using a community re-generation approach developed by Bob Neville. Those who are interested can find out more here.    

7 comments:

ken said...

Nice post, Jim. My father's family came from the Tingha area and running back towards Guyra (Tenterden). I have forbears in the Tingha cemetery.
I haven't been to that area for a few years - must return.

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, Ken. I am glad you liked it. Good the hear from a local!

Anonymous said...

I have relatives from tingha. can you reccomend any good books on the history of the town?

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi anon, I am writing away from home so that I cannot check things.

Like eexcat details. Helen Brown's Tin at Tingha is I think the best. It was self published, but I think that copies are around in second hand shops. If you cannot find one let me know.

The first volume of Elizabeth Wiedemann's History of Inverell - World of its Own - includes material on Tingha. This one is good because it has a lot of detail on nearby mining areas like Copeton.

Robyn Walker's Old New England has some Tingha material and sets a broader context.

Christine hall said...

Big things happening in Tingha new Tingha Rocks Community Nursery is taking shape www.tingharocksnursery.com.au

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, Christine. I have been meaning to do a follow up story.

LindyLou said...

Hi Jim Good site. I had some relatives Lyn
lies in Tingha, john and Samuel Cowan and Samuel Joseph Cowan who owned the Caledonian Hotel and the Royal? I am very interested in any books or info on Tingha as I have just started research on this branch of family. I keep looking in second hand shops etc for books but no luck so far. Is there any other way I could get copies of the books you mentioned to anon?? My grandmother was born there - Agnes Eve Cowan, 1875. John Cowan and Catherine Dineen were her parents.
Anyway I am wondering how I can keep reading your blog??
Cheers Lyn Rickhuss