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Covering The Banana Shire
Central West Queensland

Business & Rural

29 March, 2021

Local groups slowly returning after COVID restrictions

COMMUNITY groups are seeing larger numbers this year as COVID restrictions ease; however, the story is not straight-forward according to shire community groups.

By Michael R Williams

COMMUNITY groups are seeing larger numbers this year as COVID restrictions ease; however, the story is not straight-forward according to shire community groups. PHOTO: Michael R Williams

COMMUNITY groups are seeing larger numbers this year as COVID restrictions ease; however, the story is not straight-forward according to shire community groups.  

Nameste Nellie owner and businessperson Tennille Williams had her business shut down last year when COVID-19 hit after only starting it three months prior. 

“It was devastating,” she said.  

Through 2020, she remained committed to the business and spent time expanding her studies to improve classes for her customers. 

Ms Williams said regarding the ease in restrictions, “the class sizes have been excellent and hygiene practices have become second nature”. 

“I believe people are finding time to invest in themselves and be surrounded by like-minded people, that’s what I love about teaching classes,” she said. 

Namaste Nellie yoga is held both in Biloela and Goovigen.  
Banana Prayer and Revival had a similar story.  

“[It] had only been going for about a month or so when COVID hit,” said organiser Carmen Schneider.  

“Due to the restrictions, we cancelled the meetings due to all the requirements that had to be met by the church.” 

Ms Schneider said the meetings started again once restrictions began to ease.   

Due to the limited numbers allowed in their “tiny church”, the group had not looked at advertising moving into 2021.   

“We are still limited to a maximum number of 20 people, so it hasn’t really changed our situation at the moment,” Schneider said.  

The prayer group will be looking to expand their meetings as soon as restrictions ease further.  

Oddly, the Biloela Community Arts House said it grew substantially during COVID-19.  

“Nothing had been happening for 12 years [at the art house], then suddenly we have classes that can be 20 plus,” said organiser Ros Pearse.  

The Community Arts House saw more attention May last year after the community garden was given a new group of organisers.  

As the team worked together, they found an increased interest in the community in all sorts of lifestyle-related projects, not just gardening.  

Now the arts house is used on most weekends in what Ms Pearse called, “a new group reviving an old one”. 

She said the old house had a purpose again.  


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