Clarrie Doyle calls Bendemeer an “oasis”.
It’s a community that welcomed him with open arms 15 years ago and a desire to make sure the town thrives drives him in his position as the Bendemeer Campdraft and Rodeo Association.
“As a committee we don’t make any money out of it [events] but the school, the pre-school, the football club, the bowling club – they all make money,” Doyle said.
Two of the association’s main fundraisers are their campdraft and rodeo.
The association suffered a blow this year when they had to cancel their campdraft due to a lack of rain.
“It was so dry, we couldn't ask or expect our donors to loan their cattle,” Doyle said.
On the back of that Doyle and his “brilliant” association are throwing everything they have into the 2018 rodeo to be held on March 24.
“This is their [community groups] fundraiser for the year, and this is what keeps our little community going,” Doyle said.
“We’ve been quite fortunate, we’ve got a few new sponsors on board and they've been quite generous and at this rate the committee will probably break even but the school, the pre-school and our local committees, they'll all make money.”
The committee’s been hard at work on Saturdays, holding working bees to upgrade the facilities for this year’s rodeo.
“We used to have temporary yards and they used to all be put up, pulled down and cleaned and it’s just too much work for our committee,” Doyle said.
“So, we’re just trying to make things permanent and safer.
“There’s new chutes. The rodeo arena’s been made permanent and the buck jump area, it’s all been renewed.”
Doyle said the members of the Bendemeer Campdraft and Rodeo Association were amazing.
“There’s some brilliant people here that really put in and the resources they give, their time and expertise, it's all free and it’s a credit to them,” Doyle said.
“I’m pretty honoured to work with a lot of these guys.”
Doyle also said there would be something for everyone at the rodeo.
“We try and make it family-orientated and this year we tried to lower the admissions for the families,” Doyle said.
“They can come up with their kids, watch a whole day of rodeo and there’ll be music as well.”
There will be 21 events across the day at the Bendemeer Rodeo which starts at noon. Costs are $20 for adults, $10 for aged pensioners and kids aged up to 15 while there’s also a family (two adults, three children) pass for $50.