Back Roads: Apr 2

Heather Ewart visits the heritage-listed town of Braidwood in the season finale.

In the season finale, Back Roads visits the heritage-listed New South Wales town of Braidwood.

Heather Ewart discovers what inspires the town’s many artists, and how their creative spirit helps the community pull together in challenging times.

In the historic New South Wales town of Braidwood, Heather Ewart discovers what inspires the town’s artists, and how that creative spirit keeps the locals going when the going gets tough.

Along the way, Heather meets Karuna Bajracharya, who owns the Smokey Horse Nepalese restaurant. He teaches her the art of making traditional momo dumplings, and shares stories about life in Braidwood in the 1980’s when he first came to the country town from Kathmandu.

It was a big change for a little kid, but he’s a true local now. As a teenager, Karuna and friends put together a local band. As the ‘Bumblebees’ they went on to achieve international success. Now he’s sharing that skill and experience to support the local up and coming musicians who play at his venue. It’s not Braidwood’s only brush with fame. The heritage-listed town was immortalised on the silver screen in the 1970 Ned Kelly film featuring Mick Jagger.

In more recent times, the town has featured in a film of a different kind. During the Black Summer of 2019/2020, with terrifying bushfires bearing down, the neighbouring village of Mongarlowe was told there were no firefighting resources to help them. Braidwood locals stepped up to fight the blaze, helping to form the Mongarlowe Mosquito Army (AKA Mozzies) which became a firefighting powerhouse.

‘Mozzie’ Matt Thane filmed what was going around him, and along with other creatives in town, produced a feature length documentary. One of Braidwood’s musician residents is Keith Potger from The Seekers, who wrote a song for the documentary.

8pm tonight on ABC.

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