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Walk A Country Mile Display


The Walk A Country Mile interactive display, which is managed by the Tamworth Regional Council, is now incorporated into the Country Music Hall of Fame museum. Whilst it has its own designated area within the museum the entry fee covers both areas.

Walk A Country Mile features interactive touch screen displays as well as displays of memorabillia.




The History of Walk A Country Mile

Walk A Country Mile (WACM) has its roots in the conception and construction of The Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre (TREC), work on which started in December 1997 and which officially opened on September 19th 1998. 

In mid 1997 Council Promotion Officer June Smyth and Musician Dobe Newton discussed the idea of incorporating a country music interpretive centre in the exciting new complex.

A funding application was made and early in 1998 the Commonwealth Government made a grant of $250,000 under the National Tourism Development Scheme.

 Local company Max Ellis Marketing Pty Ltd. (MEM) quickly developed a concept and made a preliminary expression of interest for the project on the 13th May 1998.

After discussions with Council, MEM submitted a preliminary concept for the project and this became the template for further activity.

In July 1998 Council advised that MEM was being offered the opportunity to co-ordinate the project and was asked to submit a detailed budget. This was done by August 1998. After consultations with the industry, contractors and other stakeholders, a more detailed plan was provided to Council in November 1998.

While Council had accepted MEMs tender in principle, no further action was taken until 13th January 2000 when Council's Business and Corporate Affairs Manager, Peter Roberts wrote confirming the arrangement with MEM.

The start of the project was announced on February 22nd 2000.

Detail work started on the project early in 2000. MEM suggested the name "Walk A Country Mile" which is of course one of Slim Dusty’s most famous songs written by Joy McKean and after Slim and Joy approved its use, Council agreed to the name.

During 2000, Max revised the concept, commenced writing scripts and started preparing and collecting historical material. MEM also employed technical and creative consultants including Barry Harley with creative design and construction, Glen Joseph in producing all the video material also consulted in technical aspects, Steve Gill was in the construction work. Display artist Ce-Anne Brennan was responsible for setting up the exhibits. A number of country music experts like John Minson, Pat Ware and Lorraine Pfitzner, helped shape the historical and musical content.

The Australian Country Music Foundation (ACMF) under President Bob Kirchner, strongly supported the project with advice and the loan of memorabilia.

WACM was opened for visitors in January 2001 under the direction of Wendy Bennet from the Country Collection. However it soon became obvious that the location was not suitable for a major tourist attraction. In mid 2003 Tourism Tamworth Chairman Warwick Bennet made a submission to Council to relocate WACM and undertook to move it into the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre in Peel Street.

The new WACM was officially opened on February 26th, 2004, by Joy McKean and Max Ellis.

The Visitor Information Centre was re-located in November 2014 and the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame moved into the Building. The Hall of Fame reopened to the public in July 2015 and WACM displays are still located within the building.