Today the Bowraville community has been handed the keys to their own independence.
Members of Jaanymili Bawrrungga proudly accepted ownership of the nine-seater bus from Community Transport's (CT) board chair Greg Walcot in a handover ceremony this morning.
St Mary's Primary School students sang a bracket of Gumbaynggirr language songs to a packed room, Aunty Sandra Buchanan let everyone in on a few nuggets of local history, and welcomed everyone to country, before the keys were ceremoniously passed over to the Bowra community.
The CT-operated bus has serviced the community on around 6000 trips over the past two years, with funding from the State Government.
Students needing to travel to TAFE or sporting events, men's and women's groups needing to attend cultural events, those with sorry business, and anyone with appointments in town or shopping to do, have all been able to rely on the bus to get them there.
Michelle Jarrett originally helped to bring the initiative to her community, and said it helps fill in a lot of the gaps in public transport routes and timetabling: "A lot of the time, if you needed to be somewhere at a certain time, there was no way to get there - you were just stuck in Bowraville".
So after government funding slowed for the program after two years, noone was willing to see the important community resource fall by the wayside.
Community Transport's Marion Campbell and Regional Transport manager Ross Chalmers approached the Jaanymili Bawrrungga community group to see if they had an interest in taking over the reins.
"We both agreed that it would be best for the community to take the lead, rather than another agency," she said.
Penny Stadhams said those in Jaanymili Bawrrungga were keen to see the community take ownership of the bus service, as a natural move towards self-determination.
"It's no good having a bandaid approach, we aim to have more sustainability," she said.
"And we hope to use the bus for a number of community initiatives in future."
She said they've also been working in partnership with Transport for NSW which has secured them the funding for the bus's operational costs over the next two years.