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.

Ann Brandis – Part 2 of 2


The best moments in my life would be getting married to my husband and without a doubt the births of my two boys. From a family perspective I also cherish all our celebrations. My husband jokes that we celebrate at the drop of a hat. I also love all my nieces and nephews and am quite lucky that we have a fair bit to do with them. As for highlights from a work point of view, I especially enjoyed my community development work. I discovered that ultimately, I was more of a people person. I loved managing projects and being involved from writing the grants to the completed project and finally acquitting the grants involved in the project. During my 8 years in this role, we did some big projects of which I am very proud of.

My two stand outs for different reasons are the refurbishment of the Mukinbudin Swimming Pool. Stage 1 and Stage 2. The pool was leaking badly and completely outdated. We cut the pool bowl in three at the expansion joints, filled in the centre channel and installed wetdecks. We also raised the sides of the pool to enable diving at both ends. When we filled the pool back up there was some nervous waiting time to see if the bowl of the pool was stable. In the heat of the Wheatbelt the local pool is very valuable, and it becomes the social venue during the summer, so this project was very satisfying and I feel like I have helped make Mukinbudin a better place. The second project that is very close to my heart is the creation and building of the Mukinbudin 1950’s Farm Shed.

Several grants were written for this and the main driver, Whispie Bayley raised $10,000 from the community in 2 weeks as we were a little short for the project. After the completion of the shed, we held many events. One I organised, and facilitatd was WA’s First Men’s Shed Conference in sleepy little Mukinbudin. We had over 100 participants plus guest speakers and exhibitors. In true Mukinbudin style the whole community helped, billeting participants, lending caravans, catering and assisting where they could. From this conference the West Australian Men’s Shed Association was formed. When seeking support for the building of the shed our local doctor at the time, Dr John Radanovich said if we could save one man with the shed then it’s worth all the money we’ve spent – the shed has certainly done its job and more.

As for my worst moments, loosing people that I loved, my little nephew Stephen from leukaemia at 10 months, my cousin from suicide, my grandparents, my father-in-law and recently “my other” son who battled Leukemia and lost his fight last November. I also went through a divorce before I met Russell and that was a low time in my life. However, through all of this the love of family and friends make life good and I still count myself very lucky.

Although life gets really busy and there often doesn’t seem to be enough time to do hobbies, I do love camping in our great outdoors, watching the Dockers & the Eagles hopefully winning, gardening and reading. I belong to a book club and enjoy a wide range of authors and the company of the girls. I love sport and I used to play basketball, hockey and tennis. I’m thinking bowls will now be on the Agenda!! I also love catching up with friends and family.

A word of advice – make time to treasure your family and friends and in the words of my father: ‘If you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ Saying that, you may have to do several jobs before you find the right one. Even then, life will evolve so just go with it, surround yourself with good people and live in the wheatbelt!!

Mukinbudin Bencubbin

Human – Ann Brandis
Interviewer & photographer - Anna Cornish
Writer – Guy Salvidge

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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