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.

Mary Cameron – Part 3 of 3

We bought our house in 1986/87. Pieter had a property further out in the Coonabidgee district, but for health and practical reasons we decided to come into town.

The house and few acres of land was a deceased estate and we are only the third owners of the property. By the time we bought it it was almost a wreck and needed considerable renovation.

However the location of the property on a Brook frontage and the fact the house was typical for that generation of farm cottages - timber and fibro, on stumps, and with a verandah and sleep out all the way around. It was essentially only 4 rooms, with the laundry/ toilet were separate to the house. It fitted the brief of what we liked. It had potential.

Family members urged us to put a bulldozer through the house !!

Yet I don't think we have changed the character of the house, and we have retained the Metters No 1 wood stove !! So I hope it can be said we have saved the house from future demolition.

I am a member of the Gingin Museum and Historical Society and we have decided rather than setting up a bricks and mortar museum to develop a Website. This will incorporate a virtual museum. We researched the viability of bricks and mortar, and it seemed that they were fraught with problems in terms of cost and availability of volunteers. Attendance to a state wide conference on the the future of museums a few years ago also supported the final decision.

The website is in its early stages and for our first project two other members and I are doing a history project on 10 houses that were built 70 years or more ago, and are still occupied as residential homes.
I am interested in providing help in the small things of community life that are often neglected in the bigger picture planning.

Regretfully I am on the shady side of seventy, although I'm still only thirty seven in my head !!

During my time here in Gingin I have met a local resident who has become a good friend. I think we are on the same “wave length” and we drum up all sorts of little projects that we can personally initiate and follow through. We did a community rubbish pick up for three years, and have had considerable input into our annual Directory and monthly newsletter. An ongoing activity has been assisting the senior citizens of the town.
My advice to younger people is to get an education, learn to read and reason, and to be a critical thinker. I think some of the best moments of my life have come with living in Gingin. During the recent fire I had an action plan and was organised to leave had it been necessary. I had the dog in and the essential very important papers in the car. My friend's husband came and helped me with the horses, and other friends and neighbours arrived as well. I had messages from all over the town asking if I was all right, and at the end of the evening someone brought over a cooked meal. They thought I would not have had time to cook !!

This little episode demonstrates to me how we all still know each other in this town, and that we care for each other. This is the spirit I would like to see retained in Gingin into the future.

Gingin District Community Resource Centre Kalgoorlie, Western Australia East Fremantle Donnybrook-Bridgetown-Manjimup Mail

Human – Mary Cameron
Interviewer & photographer - Anna Cornish
Writer – Guy Salvidge

Part 1:

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

#wheatbelt #inclusion #community

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