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.

One of my special memories of growing up was getting my dog Cindy when I was five or six. She was a little Corgi cross and she was beautiful. Cindy lived for sixteen or seventeen years and passed away after I’d had my first child. She was a little ripper.

I used to live up in the Pilbara but I moved down here to Quairading ten years ago to be closer to family. My dad grew up in this area and when I came here I fell in love with it. It’s a place where you can make your own adventure. It’s nice because everyone knows everyone and they’re all trustworthy. ​

My other fond memory was receiving an award for completing my art courses at TAFE. Even though I knew I could draw, it was nice to get a certificate proving it. I did two years of art when I left school and there’s a history of artists in my family, such as John Peter Russell. He lived in the 1800s and studied with van Gogh.

On my mother’s side of the family we’re also related to Versace. I dabble in costume making and things like that. I like making up characters and I paint every now and then. I like anime but also gothic.

I’ve started helping building set designs, as well as costuming and makeup. I help friends if there’s a carnival on or if they need face-painting done. Whenever my kids have projects I tend to be the mum that goes above and beyond! ​

My eldest child is almost thirteen and the others are eleven, nine and five. They’re all girls, which keeps me on my toes. I take them out to the nature reserve as often as I can and we go camping even now and then. One of my passions is the outdoors.

My eldest has a bit of the art bug going on, my eleven-year-old likes writing stories and my nine-year-old likes building things in Minecraft. The five-year-old just rules the roost and everyone is wrapped around her little finger. She’s my little princess at the moment. ​

The happiest moments of my life involve my kids. They drive me crazy sometimes but I wouldn’t have them any other way. They’re my everything.

Losing my grandmother was one of my saddest moments, but also when my marriage ended. I do believe that everything happens for a reason. Since then I’ve become stronger and found different parts of myself. I was in a box back then and now I’m out of that box and there’s a whole new me. I’ve been able to get out and explore more and get in touch with my creative side. ​

My mother is the most influential person in my life. She has helped me through everything and has been there to put up with so much of my crap! She’s done so much for me, even when she didn’t have to, and with minimal complaints. She’s a strong person – she raised me and my brothers.

Mum helped look after my dad when he got sick. Before that they used to run a collectables and antiques shop in town. Mum’s just been an amazing person and I can never thank her enough.

One of my brothers lives in Perth and the other is in Albany. Since the end of my marriage I’ve become a lot closer to my brothers and they’ve rallied to help me. They are awesome little brothers. ​

One thing I’d like to do in the future is completing a makeup course. I’d also like to take some of the characters I’ve drawn and make them a reality so to speak. My kids give them names and so it’d be nice to actually make them real using my kids as actors. They like being my guinea pigs, letting me dress them up and put makeup on. ​

My advice for a younger me would be not to stop doing what you want to do. Don’t let anyone stop you from following your dreams. I had a whole ten-year gap of not doing anything that I wanted to do. I would have liked to have continued exploring my drawing and my creative side. One piece of advice that I give people is to encourage them to do what they want to do. Advice can only be advice, but my friends know that I mean well! ​

Human - Shelleyanne Russell
Interviewer & photographer - Paula Whittington
Writer - Guy Salvidge

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

Shire of Quairading Quairading CRC Mia Davies MLA

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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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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


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


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


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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