After more than a decade of campaigning, the hard work of the Casterton community will come to fruition this weekend with the opening of the Australian Kelpie Centre.
The $1.5 million building will be opened at 9am on Saturday by Member for Wannon Dan Tehan, who secured more than $650,000 of federal funding for the project.
The Henty Street facility, situated in the heart of the Kelpie Trail, includes a Visitor Information Centre, meeting spaces, amenities and an interpretative display showcasing the history of the Kelpie working dog.
The opening will be part of the annual Australian Kelpie Muster that brings thousands of visitors to Casterton to take part in a big variety of kelpie-related activities.
Casterton Kelpie Association president and Glenelg Shire Cr Karen Stephens expects a record number of visitors to to this year’s muster due to its growing media profile.
“We were fortunate enough to have Channel 10’s popular current affairs program The Project produce a segment last year on the origins of the Kelpie and our annual Australian Kelpie Muster festivities,” she said.
“The segment was aired to homes across Australia and went viral on social media, reaching more than 220,000 views, demonstrating just how strong the appetite is for our working dog story.
“In light of this national media success, I suspect we will welcome even more Kelpie enthusiasts to our region across the June long weekend to join in the celebrations of canine cleverness.”