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.

Part 1 of 2 - Josh Cording

I’m from Irishtown, which is fifteen minutes out of Northam. I lived in Toodyay until I was four, when we moved to the house where we are now. I hated it at first because it’s isolated from everything. My parents are the youngest people in what isn’t even a townsite—it’s known as a ‘locality.’

I have siblings but they don’t live with me. My sister Jess will be thirty this year, Mat will be twenty-eight and Taylah twenty-five. It was good growing up because I was the youngest and the most spoiled. I have a different dad to the others but my dad and their dad have always been able to get along. We’re pretty tight-knit.

Mum is a team facilitator in Northam, which involves support work and office work. Dad has just started relief teaching. Going to school in Toodyay meant I never really got used to doing homework but that changed when I went to Northam Senior for Years 11 and 12.

I did ATAR in Year 11 but I found it too stressful. I’d been doing two or three hours of study each night and it was coming up to exams, so I ended up deciding to study General courses in Year 12. There were a few people who were a bit disappointed but in the long run I think it was the best decision. I think I’m going to go to university and do a bridging course. I’m thinking of doing primary school teaching at Curtin.

I used to be involved with Scouts, which was really good. I made a lot of friends but I didn’t enjoy the camps. We used to sell bacon and egg rolls at the Toodyay Farmers’ Markets and that helped my money-handling skills. I worked at the IGA in Toodyay for three years. I needed a change so I applied for and got a job at Dome in Northam. I work on the till and run the expo station, which is preparing cakes and drinks. I was recently offered a role as a barista. I’m pretty scared but excited too. I did a Cert II in Hospitality at school and ran the barista station there. Occasionally I’d get a bit flustered and forget to put milk in someone’s coffee!

I think these days there’s a lot more awareness of mental health issues but there’s not necessarily enough money put into it. People will ask themselves whether they can afford to go to therapy and that will effect whether they seek treatment. As someone with mental health issues, I know what it’s like. I had a bad start to the year with my dog dying, my bird flying away and having to sell my car. I wasn’t the best for a while and I ended up putting myself in hospital by taking too many tablets. I wasn’t in a good mindset, but I’d never do it again.

One night recently I was going to bed when my mindset changed for the better. I realised I might as well try to be happy. I still have moments where I doubt myself but at the end of the day I’m feeling better. I have some great friends around me who check up to see if I’m okay. My siblings are always there for me, even my brother in Sydney.

My oldest sister has a pet dog that I view as my nephew. His name is Archie and he’s the best. I’ve always had dogs in my life and they are my best friends. Whenever I see Archie it’s special because I don’t have one of my own anymore. I found it so much easier once I got my dog’s ashes back from the crematorium. Now I know he’s with me and, even though he’s passed on, I feel like he’s watching over me. It gives me a lot of comfort. I’m getting a tattoo pawprint of him in a few weeks.

I’ve been through a lot of pain in the past such as getting my septum pierced. I also have nose and ear piercings too. My parents are okay with it as long as I don’t make myself look stupid. I’m turning eighteen in a month. I’m hoping to have a bit of a party as long as Covid doesn’t ruin it. I want it to go off with a bang.

Part 2

Human - Josh Cording
Interviewer & photographer - Shannon Boundry
Writer - Guy Salvidge

Humans of the Wheatbelt is a Wheatbelt Health Network project.

Northam, Western Australia Northam Senior High School Toodyay Toodyay District High School Shire of Northam Toodyay IGA Toodyay Farmers Market headspace

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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

Therapy Plus
104 Wellington Street, Northam
Phone: 08 9621 4444


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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