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MEDIA RELEASE - Australian Kelpie Centre to open to a crowd of thousands

1 June 2018

After more than a decade of campaigning, the hard work and determination of the Casterton community will come to fruition next weekend with the official opening of the Australian Kelpie Centre.

The $1.5 million building will be officially opened at the 2018 Australian Kelpie Muster festivities on the Saturday 9 June by Member for Wannon Dan Tehan, who secured more than $650,000 of Federal funding to realise 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.

Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the centre was believed to be the world’s only dog museum.

“The story of Casterton and its rich cultural heritage will now be showcased for generations to come thanks to the highly successful Kelpie branding efforts of the local community. It is an exciting milestone for the region,” she said.

“Casterton’s identity as the birthplace of the Kelpie is iconic and this purpose built centre will draw visitors from right across the world to share in this fascinating history, opening the door to a new visitor economy in the town.

“It is only fitting that we officially open this building on the weekend that we celebrate all things Kelpie at the Australian Kelpie Muster, allowing event goers to visit this centre over the June long weekend and learn more about the working dog story.”

Casterton Kelpie Association president and Glenelg Shire councillor Karen Stephens anticipates record visitation 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.”

The official opening of the Australian Kelpie Centre will take place from 9am on Saturday 9 June outside the building’s entrance at 139 Henty Street, Casterton.

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