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 live on a farm in Jennapullin, which is a small farming community fifteen kilometres to the north of Northam.

I was born in the Wheatbelt and, growing up. Raising my kids here in the Wheatbelt has made me realise that there’s so much more to do than I realised and so much community support here.

I love the familiarity and I love knowing a lot of people and a lot of the local families. It’s just a really supportive community to live in. My family’s here, everyone’s here. It’s my home. ​

When I was young, I did all my schooling in Northam and then I did four years at Murdoch University in Perth studying Tourism and Sustainable Development. After moving to Perth I didn’t think I would move back to the Wheatbelt.

I got a job here at the Town of Northam which mainly involved organising events. Then after the Town of Northam merged into the Shire of Northam, I went to work at the Visitors’ Centre here in town and helped to manage it. After my time at the Visitors’ Centre, I worked at the Race club where I organised sponsorship and the running of events. ​

The reason I got into tourism in the first place was because I wanted to travel the world. I thought I would do my university degree before moving over to the Eastern states to live. I love Melbourne and I’ve visited it a few times. I thought I might go over there to work one day, but then I met Scott, my future husband, in my final year of study. That was why I came back to Northam.

I married a farmer and that kind of put a halt to my travel plans. I got married to Scott and we had our first daughter, Harper. Harper came to work with me at the Race club when she was only five weeks’ old!

Now Scott and I have two girls and a boy. Harper has just turned ten, Tia is eight and Jyes is six years’ old. ​

One of the biggest passions in my life has always been playing netball. I’ve played netball since I was about eight years old. I was in the first ever seventeen and under Wheatbelt Flames netball team and I played two years of State league competition.

Now I coach both of my daughters’ netball teams, which I enjoy. One of my other passions is reiki, which I love doing.

I have been a reiki master for a couple of years now and have been interested in the spiritual side of the universe since I was a young girl.

I have done a few workshops for kids to teach them about the principles of reiki and I just love how they embrace the magic of it all. My kids constantly ask me to do reiki when they feel they need some extra love and healing.

Aside from those, my main passion is spending time with my family. ​

One of the saddest moments in my life was when one of my cousins died. She was three years older than me and I was one of her bridesmaids at her wedding. She was twenty-four.

When I think about who the most influential person in my life has been, it’s definitely changed a lot throughout my life. Overall, I’d say that my dad is the most influential person for me though. He’s always been big on manners and respect and also morals. He’s given me a lot of important values to live my life by. Dad and I are very similar in that respect and we’ve always had a great relationship over the years. ​

My advice for a younger me or the younger generation is really more of a motto. My motto is that change is the only constant in life. I’m a very ‘go with the flow’ sort of person. If you understand that change is the only constant, it will help you to achieve more in your life. We’re constantly changing and adapting to new things, so it’s important not to be too afraid and to just go with the flow if you can.

Human - Gemma McPherson
Interviewer & photographer - Paula Whittington
Writer - Guy Salvidge

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

Shire of Northam Wheatbelt Flames Netball Club Northam Harness Racing Club Jennapullin, Western Australia, Australia

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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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