Autumn 2005

By Tash Holden
Not exactly what you’d expect to see
down a main street, but a massive Tin
Dog is exactly what you’ll find next
time you drive through Dowerin.
A group of dedicated secondary school
students from Dowerin District High
School have come up with this
innovative town entry statement as part
of a C.R.E.A.T.E (Creating Rural
Entrepreneurial Attitudes Through
Education) program that kicked off last
year. After 12 long months of
deliberation, planning and fund raising,
the students finally unveiled their
masterpiece on Friday 13 August 2004.
So why a Tin Dog? The students
recounted the story of the stream that
runs through Dowerin. Not only was it
an integral part of the town’s water
supply, it was also a popular resting
point for travelers making their way to
the Goldfields at the turn of the
century. Bully beef was the “catch of
the day”, with most swaggies reaching
for an unappetising can of “beef”
(known affectionately by many as
tinned dog!) to satisfy their appetites
before tossing the empty can into the
stream…and so the creek was
christened, Tin Dog Creek.
The students seized upon this
fascinating history and have created a
unique landmark to celebrate it.
Country Arts WA and the Uncovered
Arts Scheme supplied a third of the
funding for the project with the
Midlands Education District Office, the
Shire and most importantly, the
community of Dowerin pooling
together for the remaining funds. The
students commissioned the talents of
sculptor Peter Boylan-Knight who
spent over 270 hours turning their
vision into a spectacular reality.
When the students were asked what
was so good about being part of this
project, they said, “It’s harder than
you expect. Teamwork’s really
important. Some of the adults said
we’ll never do it but we have”.
‘Rusty’, ‘Snoop’ & ‘Bender’ were all
bandied around as potential names for
the streetside pooch.
And so the legacy of Tin Dog Creek
lives on…celebrating the past and a
very positive future. With kids like this
in the town it’s a reminder to all that
creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit
is alive and well in the Wheatbelt.
For more information contact Tash Holden
on (08) 9622 7222 or
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