Lightbulb moment sparks community change

Headshot of Jakeb Waddell
Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser
Saltwater Country executive chairwoman Cara Peek at the Broome Rodeo Ground, where the Rhythm & Ride event is held.
Camera IconSaltwater Country executive chairwoman Cara Peek at the Broome Rodeo Ground, where the Rhythm & Ride event is held. Credit: Jakeb Waddell

Sometimes an idea so crazy might just work.

A not-for-profit organisation in Broome has made the top 10 in the Regional Australia Institute’s Lightbulb Moments Campaign for shining a light on social issues in the Kimberley in an innovative way.

Saltwater Country uses the sport of rodeo and campdraft to create awareness of suicide and domestic violence through the Rhythm & Ride event, which was held for the first time last September.

Rhythm & Ride mixes rodeo and campdraft with country music to form a two-day family-friendly event centred on social issues and engaging the disengaged members of the community.

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For this reason, it appealed to the RAI, which supports organisations across regional Australia and makes their ideas a reality.

RAI chief executive Jack Archer said the campaign aimed to help get the best ideas in regional Australia off the ground and praised the efforts of Saltwater Country.

“Saltwater Country is a top 10 finalist out of 150 entrants,” he said. “(This is) a testament to the ingenuity of their idea.”

Saltwater Country executive chairwoman Cara Peek is the founder of Rhythm & Ride and said she was excited to be a finalist for what she called a “crazy idea.”

“I think we made the top 10 because our idea is very different,” she said. “We use rodeo and music to spark social change in the community.

“Our ultimate goal is to raise enough money to build a rod-eo and riding school in Broome.”

Saltwater Country is the only WA entrant to make the top 10, with three finalists from Victoria and NSW and the remaining entrants from Queensland and Tasmania.

The winner will get a TV advertisement and airtime support package in addition to the project development, fundraising strategies and communication support all finalists receive from the RAI.

The national winner will be announced in June.

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