Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Healing and growth for Mathoura

Two district women hope opening a new health and wellbeing business in Mathoura will help attract visitors and grow the struggling town.

June 18, 2014 8:57am

Marnie van Zutphen and Kerry-Anne Jones

Two district women hope opening a new health and wellbeing business in Mathoura will help attract visitors and grow the struggling town.

Kerry-Anne Jones and Marnie van Zutphen will open their Livingstone St business, Kama Living, on July 12.

The pair, who both plan to move to Mathoura and have family connections there, said the idea came about because they wanted to improve the health and wellbeing of residents, create new opportunities for the town and bring new people to the area.

‘‘We want to get Mathoura up and going,’’ Mrs van Zutphen said.

‘‘Firstly, we want to showcase Mathoura and let people know what’s there and attract new people.

‘‘Secondly, (we want to) heal the community and bring the community together and, thirdly, give them access to services that they would normally not get or have to travel for,’’ Mrs Jones said.

Mathoura was hurting after the decline of the timber industry and the recent business closures, Mrs Jones said.

‘‘This is about moving forward.

‘‘It’s a new beginning and it’s time to embrace that.

‘‘Those involved in the timber industry are much smaller, but this is an opportunity for us to develop new industry with the assets we have,’’ she said.

‘‘Mathoura is one of the jewels in the crown.

‘‘Our biggest asset is the national park.

‘‘It’s as good as Kakadu and we want to share that.

‘‘Mathoura is a very untapped resource.

‘‘People don’t realise how amazing it is.

‘‘They usually only pass through the town on their way to somewhere.’’

The women plan to use the natural environment to their advantage by holding retreats at Gulpa Creek and are working closely with the indigenous community, including the Yambina Trading Centre.

‘‘The importance of cultural heritage is a significant part of what we want to establish,’’ Mrs Jones said.

‘‘On our opening day, we are going to have a smoking ceremony and healing ceremony at the entrances to the town as well as on the football field.’’

Mrs Jones’ background is in economic development and Mrs van Zutphen’s in family day care and pharmacy.

They will hold also free introductory workshops, run by qualified practitioners, in meditation, yoga, fitness and nutrition, from the shop.

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