An inaugural cultural festival which saw attendees express gratitude was a success on Saturday.
Based on the traditional annual Thai Pongal event - an important annual Tamil cultural celebration - the event saw festival-goers expressing their thanks to the sun, nature and the region's farmers for producing our food.
Organiser Neil Para said he was pleased with the success of the event, hosted at Garibaldi Hall.
In bringing the event to Australia, Mr Para wanted to include other cultures to celebrate what sustains all humans - the biodiversity of the land and farmers who bring food to our tables.
The festival began with a traditional smoking ceremony by Barry Gilson, before a group of women made a sweet rice offering in the sun outside the hall.
A COVID-safe event, dozens of people popped in and out throughout the day - people came from far and wide, including from Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Stawell and Melbourne.
A number of people addressed those in attendance. These included Sundram Sivamalai, who explained what Thai Pongal means to Tamil people, while Jonathan Halls also spoke to thank farmers.
The Hardies Hillbillies, a local music group, provided entertainment for the crowd, which enjoyed an abundance of traditional home cooked Tamil dishes in the idyllic surrounds of the location.
Mr Para said a number of people in attendance expressed interest in forming a committee so the festival could become an annual event in the region and potentially spread to other cities around Australia.
It is hoped the event will become bigger and better next year, with more stallholders and food vendors.
Mr Para encouraged anybody interested in lending a hand to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org