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.

My family on my father’s side is the Kickett family and on my mother’s side it’s the Stack family. My dad, Jim Kickett, was born at Badjaling Mission and my mum was Penelope Kickett (nee Stack) and she was born in York. My older sister Jane was born in York, but myself and the rest of my brothers and sisters were all born in Narrogin.

We were raised in Cuballing, about thirteen kms down the road from Narrogin. Our grandparents lived there and they were a pretty close group. My grandfather was Herbert Kickett and he was born in Beverley. His father was James “Yombich” Kickett and his mother was Mary Hines. My grandmother was Maude Kickett (nee Humes) and she was born near Wandering. Her father was John Jack “Boringa” Levi or Nippa or Humes and her mother was Ada Bennell.

We moved to Popanyinning where we had a special house made for us. I did my schooling from Grade 1 to 7 there. I did one year of high school in Narrogin before the family moved down to Hamilton Hill in Perth because my little brother was very sick and having epileptic fits. We think he may have had autism because he used to run everywhere, climb fences and jumps from them. We loved him very much – his name was Morris.

Some of my early memories are of school sports carnivals, go karts or racing cars. Popanyinning had a pool called the Popo Beach and people would come from everywhere for swimming.

Everyone from Pingelly used to come up. I went to a big reunion last year. The hotel in town burned down long ago but someone painted a big picture of the pub on a large canvas and this was signed by all the people in attendance at the reunion. A lot of people were there for the reunion and many remembered me. There was a student list of all the children who had attended at the Popanyinning Primary School over the years, that included my name and some of the family.

I struggled with bullying during my time at Narrogin High School as a child because I was living with a white family. Then at school in Perth I had a lot of friends from Italy and England. There were a lot of multicultural students and we all got along like brothers and sisters. It’s changed now with a lot more racial profiling. A lot of our young people struggle to get through each day.

The saddest moment of my life was when Mum passed away on the 3rd May 1972, when I was fourteen. I got up in the morning to make Mum a cup of tea and some toast, but when I tried to wake her and give it to her, she had passed away. She left eight children; she was only thirty-two years old. She didn’t tell anyone she was sick. I had to bring up my two young brothers and one sister and we lived with our dad in Hamilton Hill. My little brother Morris was placed into the Pelican Hostel in Manning and he passed away in June 1972 from double pneumonia. My baby brother and sister were taken into the care of our aunty and uncle who cared for them both. My eldest sister went and lived with our uncle and aunty who cared for her. I believe that was the hardest time for me.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Sciences (Indigenous Community Health – specialising in Mental Health Counselling) in 2000 at Curtin University. I did three years and travelled to Kalgoorlie and Carnarvon for the practical components. The last part of the practical was at Grayland’s Hospital and I had a great time there too. The people there are just like us, they just need their medication, which some of them don’t like taking.

I started in my current role in 2017 at KEEDAC in Narrogin. My job was to work with the Manager to clear up a lot of stuff. I was involved with a lot of filing and sorting out documents and data. I finally got it all sorted out and now we’re in a new phase with the NDIS. It’s going to be challenging and I am looking forward to it.

I went to a family funeral in Wagin recently and caught up with some cousins there. They had all been taken away and put in missions as children, so we didn’t know each other’s family histories. I have connections all around.

One of my happiest moments was my baptism in 2000. My sister was baptised the same day. The joy of meeting people you know but I haven’t seen for a long time can be amazing, like at the funeral in Wagin. It was a beautiful service.

You’ve got to keep your nose clean and purify your heart, I suppose. In some ways I’m a private person and I don’t like to get into arguments with people. I’ve often felt obligated to be the kind person people want me to be. For myself, I thought working with the NDIS was a journey I could travel. It’s important for me to upskill myself so I can take those skills with me wherever I go. I just want to get all the experience I can get.

It’s important to be respectful and mindful in working with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups. I don’t judge people and I treat them how I want to be treated.

Human - Gloria Kickett
Interviewer - Shannon Boundry
Photographer - Shannon Boundry
Writer - Guy Salvidge

Shire of Narrogin NDIS National Disability Insurance Scheme Narrogin Chamber of Commerce Narrogin Observer 100.9fm Noongar Radio Noongar Institute of Western Australia Aboriginal Corporation Reconciliation WA Avon Community Services Shooting Stars: Education Through Netball

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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
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Open: 8.30am – 5pm Mon – Fri


Wundowie Health Centre
GP Services
283 Boronia Ave, Wundowie
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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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