This unusual town pays homage to ibis and sheep, and has a concrete lounge area at its heart.

Story John Dunn   Photos Neil Newitt

The Midland Highway runs through some great wool-growing country between Geelong and Ballarat in Victoria. When it passes through the centre of Meredith, there’s a lovely little spot on the edge of the bitumen that invites relaxation – an armchair with a pouf alongside to rest your legs from the accelerator and brake, and even a bookcase with a selection of volumes to take your mind off the traffic. Although invitingly called Aunty Meredith’s Lounge, it’s all done in concrete – the chair, the pouf, the bookcase and the books themselves. It’s one of many unusual things in this tiny rural town.

Aunty Meredith’s Lounge is the work of artist Mark Cuthbertson of nearby Inverleigh, who was invited by the Golden Plains Shire to design a couch deemed an appropriate partner to the town’s annual music festival. Meredith has a commendable community ethos which, according to Kerrie Kruger, secretary of the Advance Meredith Association, “works for a simple objective – to make the town a nice place to live, to connect the town and let our spirit shine”.

This story excerpt is from Issue #144

Outback Magazine: August/September 2022