Like all small towns across Australia, community is what makes the world go round. A strong community pitches in and gets work done, celebrates achievements and milestones together, and also mourns losses. A strong community volunteers to help different generations accomplish their goals, raises funds for projects and those in need, and always looks a new ways to improve the amazing lives that they are already living, and Portland is a perfect example of just how strong communities can work together.
Portland has a proud and vibrant history but is always looking towards the future. Declared a town in 1906, Portland has a strong fusion of mining, manufacturing and farming. On the back of the cement works and other industry, the town grew swiftly and at one stage the region had enough people that it supported a bath house, ice skating rink, Olympic swimming pool and even a casino.
While the town's population has shrunk to around 2500 people, the proud people of Portland have celebrated many milestones in recent years including the Portland Bowling Club which saw 70 years of community service rewarded with $30,000 of upgrades, the 60th birthday of the community-owned Portland Pool which also received much needed upgrades including a new fence, resurfacing of the kiddies pool and replacement of the starting blocks thanks to a $58,000 Stronger Country Communities Fund grant, and the Portland RSL sub-branch who can proudly boast of over 100 years of veteran support.
Businesses too are a large part of the Portland community. From larger organisations such as Portland Produce to smaller hands on businesses such as Portland Automotive Services, businesses and their owners alike not only provide employment and services for locals, but also support community groups and help create a growing economy.
Of course Portland would not be complete without the strong schools that support it's younger population and the popular community events that it hosts throughout the year. The annual Spring Fair, complete with ute display, show 'n' shine, markets, rides and food stalls, always brings the town together, the Portland Easter Festival makes for a great family day out with jumping castles, face-painting, crafts and carpentry, while the Portland Art recently celebrated it's 44th event with the tongue-in-cheek theme of "2020 Vision".
In the current health environment and following the outbreak of COVID-19, working together and supporting one another is as important as ever, and Portland is the ideal place to find individuals, community groups and businesses who will do exactly that.