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Small Town Boy

Patrick Watson  Courier Mail May 29

GERRY Bourke, 29, is a small town boy with big plans.

As a local shop owner, he was disappointed by the demise of traditional industries in his native Kin Kin area southeast of Gympie.

To boost trade Mr Bourke decided to promote the town through his Discover Kin Kin brochure and yesterday's Art, Well-Being and Bush Tucker festival in the town.

Mr Bourke was nominated in The Courier-Mail's Pride of Australia awards under the Community Spirit category for working to enrich the quality of life for his local community.

"Tourism is the ultimate thing to look into," Mr Bourke said. "We need various industries for people who live here to support the area.

"It's just an idea put together. It lists all the industry we've got at the moment. It was 12 months in the making. It also has a town map, which hadn't been done before.

"People love it. We see people with their brochure come here into town."

Mr Bourke said he had the idea for the festival after sitting outside his shop one day.

"It was quite quiet and I thought what can we do to get people in," he said. "I saw the art shop across the road, the gentleman next door does bush tucker and there's a wellbeing shop. It just made sense.

"My family has been here for over 80 years so we're a heritage family. It's just a lovely area. I've travelled all over the world, but it's just so peaceful."


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