Big Bogan still splitting opinion in Nyngan

(Back Roads: Ron Ekkel) Photo:
Bogan stubbie holders and stickers are a way of embracing “boganism” in Nyngan.
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Nyngan 2825
(Back Roads: Ron Ekkel) Photo:
Bogan Street is one reason why Nyngan has the Big Bogan.
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Nyngan local Anna Carter says she has copped flak from her friends about living near the Big Bogan. They say, ‘Oh you’re from the town with the Big Bogan’,” Anna Carter said.”So, it’s quite embarrassing but I think it is a good tourist attraction.”A self-confessed Father of the bogansFor Father McLeod, the Big Bogan has not only put Nyngan on the map, but has also developed the town in other ways.”You can go down to the museum and you can see a whole range of bogan items,” he said.”We’ve developed a sort of bogan industry and we’ve got all these tourists that come.”

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The Big Bogan on the main street of the town has been a hit and miss for Nyngan locals. She meets communities whose good humour and inventiveness will inspire and uplift. (Back Roads: Dai Cookes/Ron Ekkel)
Regardless of whether the industry has helped the town, Father McLeod said the icon represented a part of himself.”Oh, sometimes I walk down the main street — you probably think I was [a bogan] with what I was wearing.”I’ve got my bogan hat, I’ve got my flannelette shirt, I’ve got thongs, but I don’t know if I wear thongs with socks yet though.”I think the whole bogan thing is part of the Australian ability to laugh at oneself and that’s what I think is really important.”Watch Back Roads on ABC TV 8pm MondayPast episodes or extras are on iView or at www.abc.net.au/backroads

#BackRoadsHeather Ewart returns to the Back Roads of Australia, to discover more resilient country towns and the inspiring people who live in them. For others, it’s a less light-hearted take on the town’s recent reputation.”[It’s a] pretty derogatory term, and I think Nyngan people might be a little bit better than being labelled as a whole bunch of bogans,” farmer Phil Kennedy said.”It’s not Noosa, we know — but it’s Nyngan.”Other locals such as Troy Richards agreed.”The Big Bogan, I think is a little bit of a waste of money,” Mr Richards said. It’s good to have a feature in the town and it’s certainly, you know, great for tourism and for the shops,” Dione Carter said.Ms Carter’s daughter Anna had another view.”I cop a bit of slack from my friends. (Back Roads: Ron Ekkel)
However, others see it as a positive.”I think it’s great for the town.
(Back Roads: Ron Ekkel) Photo:
The Nyngan museum is home to multiple bogan items that have developed into a ‘bogan industry’.

(Back Roads: Ron Ekkel) Photo:
Bogan hats are another source of amusement for tourists passing through Nyngan.
(Back Roads: Dai Cookes / Ron Ekkel) Photo:
The Bogan River is a place for recreation for Nyngan locals.
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(Back Roads: Ron Ekkel) Photo:
Bogan merchandise such as the Big Bogan shirt can be seen at the Nyngan museum.

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Bogan Shire Council is another source of the Big Bogan’s identity. (Back Roads: Ron Ekkel)

Nyngan hosts several landmarks that make it the ideal location for the Big Bogan. (Back Roads)
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Damien Peck

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July 30, 2018 06:36:55

Video: The Big Bogan has been controversial since it was erected in the town of Nyngan in 2015.

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There’s no better place to have the Big Bogan than Nyngan … or at least that’s what some locals think so — others not so much.Located in the centre of New South Wales on the ‘edge of the outback’, Nyngan is located by the Bogan River — a 575-kilometre drive north-west of Sydney in the central west region.Boasting local names such as the Bogan River, Bogan Street and Bogan Way, the town is also a part of the Bogan Shire, and newly created Baby Bogans — much to the amusement of travellers passing through.A divisive character, the Big Bogan has stood tall for three years, but still divides opinion from residents about whether it’s good or bad publicity for the town.While the word ‘bogan’ has been used elsewhere as criticism, for example, in a town labelled the ‘most bogan of bogan’ locations, Father Graham McLeod is a proud advocate of the Big Bogan in Nyngan. (Back Roads: Ron Ekkel)
He said it was Nyngan’s right to own it due to geographical location of the river to the township.”I was worried about another town taking the idea of a big bogan,” Father Graham McLeod told ABC TV’s Back Roads program.”The word bogan had been cropping up quite frequently in the media and I thought there might be someone or some town that has the idea of putting up a Big Bogan and what right would they have?”Because it’s Nyngan’s right — because we’re on the Bogan River, we’re Bogan Shire Council.”Father McLeod said it had kept the town in the media for all the right reasons and was something that had attracted tourists from around the world to visit.”Sometimes in small towns you only hear them mentioned when there’s some tragedy,” he said.”Today we’ve got all these tourists coming, even making a special trip to Nyngan just to get a photograph of the Big Bogan.”So what do the locals think?In Australia’s agricultural heartland of sheep and wheat growers, the landscape of Nyngan changed with mines and Australia’s biggest solar farm, creating diverse opinions across the town.Opinion in the town is split over the five-metre-high steel Big Bogan complete with singlet, shorts, thongs, trucker hat, mullet and Southern Cross tattoo. He holds a fishing rod and is posed ready for a photo with a thumbs up, and a steel eski for tourists to sit on.”It’s a bit of a local icon that’s just been put up in the last few years and created a bit of controversy in town when it first started with the name ‘bogan’,” said Nyngan local Jack Carter.”I think the name is probably just — sounded a little bit funny, you know.””It’s all a bit of fun I’d say.”We talk about the Bogan River we’ve had for years and they’re worried about the bogan.” Photo:
Father Graham McLeod came up with the idea of the Big Bogan to boost tourism in the town.