After the event finished at Taroom on 26 September, a number of participants lodged Expo Survey Forms and written comments, representing more than 70 delegates. Most marked the event as a “5” - the highest approval rating (some noted “5+”). Many named their favorite guest speakers or particular venues and most promised to return to the region, naming the places within the Expo boundaries they intend to visit in the future.

Reports from participating councils indicated they were very satisfied with the event and the way it was run. Here are some of the comments:

Dalby Mayor Cr Warwick Geisel: Our council was very pleased to be part of the huge project. Since the Expo I have spoken to the Honorary German Consul Mr Detlef Sulzer, of Brisbane, who said he was very impressed with the Western Downs area. Mr Sulzer escorted the German Ambassador, Dr Klaus-Peter Klaiber, to the Expo where Dr Klaiber performed the official opening and was presented with a substantial painting as a gift from the artist Dean Reilly and this community to the Embassy in Canberra. (This painting has remained on display in the Embassy.)

Wambo Mayor Cr Mick Cosgrove, who attended most Expo events: We were very pleased with our program at Jandowae, Jimbour and Warra. A number of delegates told me how much they enjoyed the atmosphere of the cattle sale at Wandoan and the Taroom Cup race meeting.

Chinchilla Mayor Cr Bill McCutcheon: I was extremely impressed with the enthusiasm of all participants. The guests themselves made up a diverse and interesting group and it was obvious they enjoyed the varied program. We all learnt a huge amount about Leichhardt during the presentations at Chinchilla which included a range of expert speakers and an excellent display.

Murilla CEO Phil Berting: The Expo, in terms of the five councils working together, has provided a blueprint for the future. The various events at Miles – the Historic Village open day, a silver-service dinner in the Leichhardt Room, the hot breakfast and the Serendipity Display at Dogwood Crossing – were very successful.

Taroom Shire Mayor Cr Don Stiller, who attended most Expo events: The Expo was an unbelievable success and it is hard to imagine how it could have been done much better. I felt that the Taroom finale, with its open air interdenominational church service with five clergy including a Bishop, together with the Queensland Youth Orchestra Big Band ,was a special highlight for me. The unveiling ceremony of a memorial to John Gilbert, in the form of a directional marker and plaque, capped off the program in our Shire.

On the final day, delegates were queuing up to thank the Taroom mayor and it was evident all visitors were extremely pleased with the outcome. History has been made in this area and a new benchmark has been set in terms of a combined regional promotion and the part played by Queensland Events is most appreciated.

The Western Downs can also rest easy, knowing that a major study and tourism event into Australia’s history has now formed part of Queensland history.

2004 JJ DS at Jimbour 300W  

Left: Taroom Shire Council executive John Jennings (L) with then-Honorary Consul of Germany Detlef Sulzer (R) at Jimbour Station during the Expo.

(Courtesy John Jennings)

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