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.

Hazel Martin

I’m a ‘ten-pound Pom’ but I’ve been in Australia since I was six months old. I have three grown-up children and three grandbabies with one on the way. They are the centre of my being. My eldest child Jessica is thirty-two, Jake’s thirty-one and Mitchell is twenty-eight. They’re all fabulous humans. I like them, but they all like me which is more important! Jessica lives here in Brookton and that’s how we ended up out here. We tried to buy in Brookton but that didn’t work out and we ended up in Beverley. I’m an amateur photographer; I have a good eye but I’m technically useless. I’m looking forward to getting involved in some photography things in Beverley. Just this week there was a purple sunrise and it was just amazing.

Gary and I have been together for thirty-six years. We’ve only been married about sixteen of those years. Gary is still working in Perth and the idea is he has five years until he retires. I’ve always had the bigger career out of the two of us, always in a sales background managing multi-million dollar contracts. Coming out to work at the Community Resource Centre in Brookton feels more like giving back to the community than a job. Whenever people come in we offer to help them no matter what they need. It’s wonderful. Everything that comes across my desk is an opportunity. My desire is that in twelve months time I’ll be able to sit back and say, ‘I’ve covered every demographic.’ Across all the jobs I’ve had, customer service has been my thing.

The best moments of my life would definitely be having my kids and grandkids. Both of my boys live in Roleystone and we sold our big home to our son who is still living there. Gary’s staying there during the week. None of our kids ever paid board but now Gary’s paying board to our son! I thought I was coming to the Wheatbelt to basically semi-retire. My daughter is on the committee here at the CRC so she mentioned an opportunity, and I jumped at it. I’m terrible at acronyms and I’m not big on policies, so I thought ‘I’ll get all the other stuff done and then I’ll read the policies.’ When I had my interview for this job, I said my strength was in going out and engaging with the community. It’s really good fun.

There’s a couple of creeds I live by. The first is, ‘if it’s a shit sandwich, I’m going to say it’s a shit sandwich.’ I might say it with a smile on my face. The other is ‘if it smells like a fish, it is a fish.’ I feel like I have good foresight and I can see trouble ahead. Another thing I’ve learned is that everything happens for a reason—what goes around comes around. I actually believe in being nice. One thing I regret in my life is not pulling up bullies. I’ve seen it in the workplace and in my personal life among groups of friends. I’ve spoken to my daughter and my daughters-in-law about this, saying ‘if I could go back and re-live my thirties, this is what I would do.’ You need to stand tall. In my work I always like to lead by example. I’m more of an influencer of people than a manager of people. If there’s something I wouldn’t do I won’t ask someone else to do it.

One of my hobbies is bird-watching or ‘twitching’, so the Wheatbelt’s great for that. It’s addictive. I haven’t had a lot of time to do that since starting this job. I actually find Facebook to be a really interesting human study. I used to post some photos and get lots of likes and wonderful comments, but then a while ago I stopped. People who didn’t use to comment were privately messaging me asking me where all the photos were. I like social media. The first thing I do every day is log on and look at my memories from last year. It’s a bit of a record for me, especially with my bird-watching, and I can look back and see that I’ve improved as a photographer. Where I find the study of human nature interesting is in that when my sister posts something on Facebook, it’s usually something horrific because she works in the protective behaviours space, and nobody will like it or comment on her posts. People don’t want to think about all the negative things, but they are happy to enjoy the positives. I’m really interested in the psychology of that.

Human – Hazel Martin
Interviewer & photographer - Anna Cornish & Brenna Tully
Writer – Guy Salvidge

Brookton Community Resource Centre Shire of Beverley

Humans of the Wheatbelt is supported by the WA State Government through the Wheatbelt Development Commission and managed by Wheatbelt Health Network

#wheatbelt #humans #inclusion

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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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Phone: 08 9621 4444
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Williams Road, Narrogin
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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

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