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 lived in the Wheatbelt since I was about seven. My family moved here to get away from the crowds in Perth. There’s a lot of diversity in the city, but we preferred the quiet.

We live about ten kilometres out of Toodyay. I really love it out here in Toodyay, so I’m hoping to settle here eventually and have my own space.

I grew up as an only child, but I grew up happy. I had a lot of attention, sometimes more than I wanted!

The most influential person in my life was probably my grandad. He was a big part of my life growing up here, teaching us about country life. I looked up to him without even realising it. He was always the first to help anyone who needed it. He was an amazing person and very hands on.

I went to school here in Toodyay until reaching Year 10, and I did my final two years at Northam Senior High School. I didn’t mind school—there was nothing I didn’t like.

I wasn’t a massive reader as a kid. I didn’t really get into reading until about six years ago. Now I work at the Book Shed in Toodyay, which my family owns. I’ve really embraced it and now I love it. My favourite author is Tolkien; I have about seventy books by him. I find that I can always go back to Tolkien in a way I can’t do with other authors. My favourite book is The Hobbit. I never imagined running a bookshop—as a child I always wanted to be a racing car driver.

One of my other passions is PC gaming, especially racing games. I grew up playing a game called Gran Turismo. Ever since dad handed me the controller I couldn’t stop and I’ve played every Gran Turismo since, It used to be that I couldn’t play online due to the internet issues we’ve had, but recently I’ve been able to which has opened up a lot more opportunities for me with gaming. I’m not really into social media.

One racing car driver that I’ve always looked up to is Michael Schumacher, who was such a talent and a true hero to me personally. In 2013 he hit his head whilst skiing leaving him with a brain haemorrhage, he had a brain operation leaving him in a coma for 6 months, ever since the accident the hasn’t been able to walk or talk. I couldn’t begin imagine what his family has been going through.

I’ve always loved design and drawing things up. I used to spend a lot of time doing 3D modelling on the computer. There is so much freedom, you can do anything you want. I work on heritage design projects with my dad and it’s something we enjoy doing together. I hope we can keep doing it for a long time.

One exciting thing that’s coming up is a project involving the National Trust. We’re installing plaques detailing the history of the old observatory, they are a really cool sun dial design.There’s a lot of work in this field, lots of small things that can end up making big differences around a community. I think I get my style from my mum. She is very cool and makes us all look good. Mum has a professional background in visual merchandising and always keeps my bookshop looking awesome.

I like the Alien films, especially the original by Ridley Scott. I’ve also seen the new Lost in Space series, but I’ve always liked the original series better, because that’s what I grew up on. One good thing about the new series, and a lot of other current shows, is the recent uprise of having female and culturally diverse main characters. That’s something that’s only happened recently, having these characters centre stage is something that’s taken too long to achieve.

One piece of advice I have for young people is about drinking. When I turned eighteen I thought, ‘whoo, let’s get drunk’ but I very quickly regretted it. Now I haven’t drunk alcohol for about a year. I’ve seen the devastation it can have on the community. I’ve lost a lot of people my age that I went to school with. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the peer pressure and things can get out of hand too fast.

Hearing about young people losing their lives hits you like a train, especially when it’s in a small community like this one. We all grew up together, played sports together, our parents all knew each other and you’d see them around town. Boys get together and they think they’re the best and that they can do it all, but sometimes they can’t. I think it’s a really hard topic to get through to people my age about the dangers of excessive drinking. The message needs to be ‘have fun, but don’t do stupid things.’ You can enjoy yourself without taking it that step too far. Reading a good book beats alcohol any day!

Human - Jack Morgan
Interviewer & Photographer - Anna Cornish
Writer - Guy Salvidge

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

Shire of Toodyay Northam Senior High School Toodyay District High School The Book Shed The National Trust of Western Australia Toodyay RoadWise Committee Small Business Development Corporation WA


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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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