Humans of the Wheatbelt

Humans of the Wheatbelt is a disability project that celebrates inclusion within the community.

There is always someone in each story that has a disability whether it is the human, interviewer, photographer or writer.

I've been riding horses since I was two years old and they have always been a passion of mine. My father had a total passion for horses and animals too, so I think I got the love of horses from him.

He was disabled from polio, so he rode a horse everywhere he went instead of a sitting in a wheelchair. He only ever used a wheelchair in the house. He did his teaching degree in an iron lung after the Second World War and later he became the Deputy Headmaster of Guildford Grammar School. My father was an amazing man. If he was alive today, he'd be a hundred and two years old.

Having a father that was disabled taught me to be a better human being. One of my most vivid memories of growing up is him coming home from work and bouncing me on his knee with a brandy in his hand. Mum was a teacher too. In a sense, I've followed in their footsteps in that now I teach horse riding.

I studied an Associate Diploma of Social Science, but I loved animals too. I wanted both sides-animals and children. My two passions are horses and family. I have seven kids, ranging from ten to twenty-two years of age. This includes step-children from my second marriage.

My family lived in Guildford until 1985, when Dad had a stroke and had to retire. We moved up to Darlington, where I ended up living for thirty-five
years. My mother passed away nine years ago, and that was also the time when my first husband left me with four young children.

Mum was my rock and she was definitely the most influential person in my life. It's been really hard without her. That was the saddest time in my entire life. I found myself very alone, but three years later I met Peter.

We met online and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Peter taught me what love is, because I never knew love in my first marriage. The happiest moment of my life was my wedding two years ago.

I've lived in Bakers Hill for more than a year now. Everyone has been very welcoming here and I love the country feel.

I work at Green Gables Stables as a riding instructor, which I also manage. We own eighteen horses and we also take in rescue animals. We're foster carers for wildlife. We're a non-competitive, non-judgemental riding school where everyone is welcome.

It was Peter's idea to start up the business and he helped to set it up. As a child, I had gone to pony club, but Mum and Dad were sticklers on insisting that you went in with what you had and not what was provided to you.

I ended up competing in the Royal Show, but it became so money orientated and expectations were so high that I wanted to run Green Gables Stables differently. We wanted a family feel for the place.

What I like about working with children is their innocence. I love how sometimes when we take kids out on trail rides, you end up finding out about
the life histories of their parents. That's quite cute! Even if you've been having a bad day, they always bring a smile to your face. They're like little sponges and they learn so much so quickly.

Whenever the kids come, they're just so excited to be here. We chose the name Green Gables Stables
because Anne of Green Gables has always been my hero.

My greatest wrongdoing is expecting everyone to be kind when not everyone is. It's important to keep talking to people if they are going through tough times and not to isolate them. A person might seem okay on the outside, but inside they might not be. Don't judge people until you know their story, especially if you don't know what they've been through.

One piece of advice I'd give to a younger version of myself or a younger person today is not to be so sensitive and to take the good things in life
with the bad. Most importantly, you should always be kind to people.

Green Gables Stables Northam Chamber of Commerce Shire of Northam Bakers Hill, Western Australia Bakers Hill Progress & Recreation Association

Humans of the Wheatbelt is a Wheatbelt Heskth Network project supported by the Department of Communities.

Human - Becky Cranfield
Interviewer - Paula Whittington
Photographer - Tully Speyer
Writer - Guy Salvidge


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The Wheatbelt Health Network offers support including General Practice, Nursing, Mental Health, Allied Health and Visiting Specialists.

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NORTHAM

Wheatbelt Health Centre
25 Holtfreter Avenue, Northam
Phone: 08 9621 4444
Open: 8am-6pm Mon – Fri

Aboriginal Health - Northam
65 Wellington Street, Northam
Phone: 08 9690 2824

TOODYAY

Alma Beard Medical Centre
81 Stirling Tce, Toodyay
Phone: 08 9578 2500
Open: 8.30am – 5pm Mon – Fri

WUNDOWIE

Wundowie Health Centre
GP Services
283 Boronia Ave, Wundowie
Phone: 08 9621 4444
Open: 8.30am – 4pm Wednesdays

NARROGIN

Aboriginal Health - Narrogin
Williams Road, Narrogin
Phone: 08 9881 0385
Open: 8.30am – 4.30pm Mon – Tues

After hours medical assistance: In an emergency call 000 or present to your nearest Regional Hospital emergency department. If you have a non- emergency and would like to consult with a GP then call Telstra Health on 1800 225 523. The service is free to access for Australian residents who reside in the wheatbelt or who are temporarily residing in the Wheatbelt. This service can be accessed before 8am and after 6pm Monday-Friday, before 8am and after 12pm Saturday and all day Sunday and any Public Holidays. Thank you to Western Australia Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) for funding this service.

  • 25 Holtfreter Avenue, Northam

  • 81 Stirling Tce, Toodyay

  • 65 Wellington Street, Northam

  • Williams Road, Narrogin

  • 283 Boronia Ave, Wundowie

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