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                                                                 EDITION 30   ISSN 1445-7210

Lauren Brede
WA Songwriter of the Year
IN 3 MINDS                           KIDS DRAWING COMPETITION


IN 3 MINDS ..........................................4

ACROSS MY DESK................................6

ITEMS OF INTEREST ............................6

GETTING ON BOARD ...........................7

                                                          AT THE LAUNCH OF THE WA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION.
FROM THE WHEATBELT.......................9

KIMBERLEY STYLE .............................10

                                                          From the Chair
                                                          As I write this we’re harvesting on our farm and I am busy driving the tractor
                                                          and chaser bin or header and checking sheep in my spare time. I am dressed
                                                          in my dusty boots and grease covered shirt a far cry from the linen clad
                                                          ‘country styled’ women you see in magazines. I read these magazines and
WEDDING MARKET ............................14
                                                          dream of the lush green gardens and ordered houses shown on their pages but
SMALL BUSINESS EXPORTERS                                  the reality is I live in the Wheatbelt and I am a woman on the land who
NETWORK ..........................................14
                                                          wouldn’t have it any other way.
A FASCINATING JOURNEY .................15
                                                          Network News is a magazine for the women of Western Australia with the
                                                          RRR Reference Group aiming to produce a magazine that links women within
THE CAPE LE GRANDE                                        our state. The magazine delivers a mixture of stories and information to be
EXPERIENCE ......................................16       shared throughout rural, regional and remote Western Australia. Stories for
MAKING TECHONOLOGY                                        Network News are received from women throughout the state and if you
WORK FOR US ...................................17         would like to find out more on how you can send your story in please turn to
INFO ONLINE .....................................17       page 6.

THE COUNTRY STYLED LADY ............18                    I am always excited to hear stories of young rural women doing well and
LAZY COLLEEN KIDS DRAWING                                 loved reading the story this month of Lauren Brede who recently won the
COMPETITION ....................................18        West Australian Music Industry Song of the year. At 16 Lauren has a great
                                                          future in the industry and I look forward to hearing more from her.
BRIGHT IDEA .....................................19
                                                          In this edition Helen Radcliffe’s story on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
SURVIVING SIDS –                                          (SIDS) touched my heart. The loss at any time would be heartbreaking, but to
A MOTHER’S STORY...........................20             read Helen’s story you are filled with a sense of admiration for a woman who
SIDS AND SAFE SLEEPING.................21                 has endured so much sadness and yet has found it in her heart to help
                                                          others coping with their loss of a child through SIDS.

HEART AND SEOUL.                                          I hope you all enjoy reading all the wonderful things women in Western
AN ADOPTION STORY ........................22              Australia are doing, from creating art societies, organizing swimming relays
                                                          to touring the Wheatbelt and that it inspires you do similar things in your

                                                          Wishing you all the very best over the festive season.

                                                          Yours in RRR

                                                          Nicole Egginton

2                                                                NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04
                                                                                                C O V E R S T O RY



                                                                                                                                  PHOTOGRAPHER CHRIS O’HALLORAN
                                          Lauren Brede
   by Lauren Brede
                              WA Songwriter of the Year
   Lauren Brede has come a long way since she wrote her first song at ten years old. The sixteen year old country music
   singer/songwriter from the small country town of Boddington has recently been awarded the highest accolade of the
   Western Australian Music (WAM) industry, WA Song of the Year Award.
   My first major songwriting                                                         finished product, artwork for the
   achievement was taking out the
   children’s category at the 2001
                                            And most importantly
                                            my family and friends
                                                                                      cover of the EP, distribution and
                                                                                      promotion, and a video clip.
   Western Australian Music Industry
   (WAM) Song of the Year Awards            who have had to put                       As I walked up to the stage to
                                                                                      collect my prize, I was shaking so
   with my song ‘Shattered Dreams’.         up with the hours of                      badly I thought I wouldn’t make it
   My lifelong dream had always been        practising, my bad                        up the stairs, and I didn’t think I
   to go to Tamworth, the country music
   Capital of Australia. When my mum        moods…If it weren’t                       could ever stop smiling! Well, the
                                                                                      smile has finally gone away and all
   found an opportunity for me to attend    for you, I would never                    that is left now is to organize the
   the ‘Tamworth Camerata’, a country
                                            be where I am today.
   music school for people under 17,
   I applied and was accepted in July
   2002. I also had the chance to attend
                                                                                ”     time to begin recording for my EP.
                                                                                      It has all been and continues to be
                                                                                      very exciting and surreal and I’m
   the Camerata in 2003 through                                                       certainly getting a lot of experience
                                            But something this year made me
   sponsorship from the ‘Young Guns of                                                as to how the industry operates.
                                            get it out again to enter this year’s
   Country Music,’ a group of young         West Australian Music Industry            Singing and writing country music is
   country music singers.                   Songwriting competition. I entered        a passion for me, which I hope to
   There is no way to describe in           three songs into the youth section        someday turn into a career, and
   words just how much attending the        and was excited to learn a few            hopefully, winning this award is just
   Camerata meant to me except to           months later that two songs were in       the first step towards doing it.
   say that I wouldn’t be where I am        the finals. I was even more excited to
   today if I hadn’t gone. The people       learn that two of my songs had also       The only reason that I achieved
   there helped me to realize that          been nominated for the Outstanding        what I did is due to a lot of very
   country music is what I wanted to        Regional Song of the Year.                special people in Tamworth who
   do as my career and gave me the                                                    have all been great sources of help
                                            It was touch and go whether my            and support and inspired me to
   help and inspiration I needed.
                                            family and I would attend the finals      keep working at it. Also to the
   I was inspired to work harder and        but finally when they offered me the      Young Guns of Country Music who
   began trying to expose myself more,      chance to perform two songs, I            have stood by me the whole way.
   increase my performance quality,         jumped at the opportunity. I was          They have allowed me to develop
   work a lot harder at improving and       thrilled to win the Regional Song
                                                                                      my stage presence and to get
   expanding my guitar playing, and         Award.
                                                                                      experience working with a band.
   most importantly at writing more
   and better songs.                        Then it was announced that I had
                                                                                      And most importantly my family and
                                            won the Grand Prize of the
   A few weeks after the 2003               Competition, the WAM Song of the          friends who have had to put up with
   Camerata, I wrote a song called          Year for ‘Time for You to Go’. This is    the hours of practising, my bad
   ‘Time For You To Go.’ After singing it   judged out of all the 1300 entries        moods when I can’t think of the
   at a few shows and entering it in a      and the winner receives three days        next line to a song, and for driving
   few song competitions I finally          to record an EP (Extended Play            me around all over the countryside.
   decided I hated it and shoved it to      Single) with one of the top               If it weren’t for you, I would never
   the back of the closet.                  producers, 500 copies of the              be where I am today.

                                                    NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04                                                    3

                     In 3 Minds

                     By Kath Lymon

                     A connection with the land, and the impact of people on the land are common threads for three
                     artists from the south coast who are working towards a joint exhibition in Perth at the end of January
                     2005. Sue Codee, Judy Lambert and Trish Ware are three creative women influenced strongly by
                     the rural region in which they live and by their experiences beyond it. Each of them uses symbols
                     and motifs that are indicative of both past and present in the landscapes that surround them in
                     their daily lives.

                     Sue, Judy and Trish have all successfully combined careers based around art and teaching.
                     All three have achieved recognition in local exhibitions and in others further afield, including the city.

Judy’s Story                                                    Sue’s Story
                            Judy and her husband, Frank,        Living close to the land constantly
                            live on a cattle stud farm at       reminds Sue of our connections with
                            King River outside Albany. She      nature and the need to respond to
                            has been a senior high school       and care for it. Sue spends the
                            art teacher, moving around the      Albany winter months in the warmth
                            country with her agriculturalist    of remote desert communities
                            husband Frank, from Northam         working on art residencies,
                            to Narrogin and Albany. Her         consultancies and community
                            home displays her work and          projects. This has taken her to some
                            that of some of her students.       amazing places – from Balgo Hills
She also has an eye for the placement of ‘found objects’        and Yagga Yagga in the Great Sandy Desert, to Looma in
and interesting displays include graduated cone shells          the Kimberley, to Wingellina and Warburton in the Great
and crazed ceramic inkwells in muted blues and reds             Victoria Desert, Cue in the mid west, and to Lake Nash in
rescued from the demolition of a primary school.                the QLD/ NT border. She returns to her Albany studio
                                                                charged with new ideas, and the work she creates is an
With her teaching career left behind, Judy is now able to
                                                                internal response to these experiences.
give herself the luxury of time and space to concentrate
on her art. This has already seen a reward as she was           By becoming attuned to the land, Sue finds it difficult
delighted to be awarded the prestigious Bankwest Open           not to become attuned to Aboriginality to some degree.
Art Prize at the 2004 Royal Show as well as the Best            She says, ‘The land, and especially the desert, is a world
Rural Artist prize. This is the first time the two prizes       of myth and power in its vastness. The symbols and
have been awarded to the same artist.                           motifs in my paintings are born from this experience.’

The magnificent bulls and other cattle on the Lambert           With each journey to the interior, she is moved and
farm often feature in her work. Judy is also fascinated by      inspired by the seemingly endless nature of the inland and
the bits of china and other relics from previous owners         desert places. ‘There is an “edge” quality that the more
that she finds in her ‘archaeological digs’ in her garden.      populated and well-serviced coastal areas do not possess.
                                                                Sue believes the mystery and sacred quality of the inland
In talking about her work, Judy says, ‘My work is
                                                                invokes the necessity for respect, and awareness of the
informed largely by personal experience. It plays quite
                                                                desert’s inherent dangers and astounding beauty. It is
decadently with decorative aspects of domesticity,
                                                                especially symbolic of entering the Unknown.’
particularly rural. Domestic priorities touch on tension. I
indulge in the physical beauty of my environment – my           Sue says that the time she spends inland is helping her
china collection, the china fragments from the garden,          to find her own story.
and in the paddocks, our beautiful Albany vegetation,
                                                                ‘The desert takes you deep within yourself as a response
waterholes, creeks, lakes, fences, gates and in the
                                                                to its spaciousness and piercing silence. You feel in one
ubiquitous presence of our stud cattle’.
                                                                way very small but in another, colossal, and united with a
Judy sees ethereal beauty in these animals, comparing           greater world’.
the massive bulls to Michelangelo’s David. Her paintings
                                                                Sensual colour and lush textures are used in her work
often reflect the constant threat of degradation of the
                                                                and she attempts to ‘peel back layers and reveal deeper
land, particularly in the colours she uses to depict her
                                                                elements’, with primordial motifs and symbols. Sue is
                                                                also working on a book and a short documentary on her
                                                                work and travels.

4                                                  NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04
Trish’s Story
                       Changes in the land and the
                       peoples who have inhabited it over
                       time are underlying themes found

                       in Trish Ware’s sculptures and
                       paintings. Her studio, which she
                       shares with her artist and musician    “ Like theTrish is artists in this
                                                                                 aware of
                       husband Robin, is scattered with
                       canvasses and found objects.              erosion, scarring, weathering
                       Bones and skulls, shells, rusty           and change, the impact of
                       metal objects or pieces of domestic
equipment are collected and used to create fascinating
                                                                 change and time on the
free-standing sculptures, hangings or pictures. She is
inspired by ancient literature, art and writing which are a
                                                                 land and people.
constant source of revelation and insight to her
contemporary work.

‘The stuff of myths and legends is much forgotten but still
resonates deeply in modern society’, she explains. ‘My
work is ideographic in nature. I try to capture the essence
of things past – the ongoing resonance of having once
been’. Trish quotes Ovid, ‘Nothing in the entire universe
ever perishes … but the thing varies and adopts new
form’. Trish is fascinated, not only by the shell she might
find, but by the animal it once housed – by space, time
and stories relevant to the treasures she collects.

Like the other artists in this trilogy, Trish is aware of
erosion, scarring, weathering and change, the impact of
change and time on the land and people.
                                                                                            PAINTINGS BELOW BY SUE CODEE

                                                                                               EARTHED HALE

    The exhibition
    Sue, Judy and Trish are each working independently towards their joint exhibition,
    appropriately titled In 3 Minds. Occasionally they come together over coffee to
    discuss the details of the opening night scheduled for Saturday 29 January, or how
    they will share the space at the Old Bakery Gallery. The gallery is run by four women
    and has connections with the Albany region through one of its partners who farms in
    the area. This has led to mounting exhibitions that promote the artistic talent and
    wonderful produce of the south coast region.

    At the opening of In 3 Minds there will also be a book launch. Titled the bay and           PASTEL LOOMA
    beyond, the book features recipes, and gourmet tips by Trish Flowers, of Bay
    Merchants deli and café in Albany’s Middleton Beach. In her café and her book,
    Trish promotes fresh local produce and provides stories on the producers, beautifully
    illustrated with photos by Barbara Madden.

    The exhibition in January will be a wonderful collaboration by talented, innovative
    women from the south coast who are passionate about the environment in which
    they live and what it can inspire and produce. In different ways they investigate the
    serious concerns that Judy has listed as fragility, struggle, history, vulnerability,
    degradation and change.

    More information will be available on the Old Bakery Gallery website: or by phoning (08) 9370 3308.

                                                  NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04                                              5
                                                               ACROSS MY DESK

Network News is published quarterly by the RRR
Network to share stories and photographs from
                                                      Across My Desk
and about women living in rural, remote and
                                                      Thank you to all our readers who have contributed to the Network News for this
regional Western Australia.
                                                      edition. We have been overwhelmed with stories for this edition and will include many
The RRR Network was established in 1996 to            articles in the next edition.
bring together women in rural, remote and
regional Western Australia to recognise, promote
                                                      Have you thought of putting your name forward for a board appointment? If you want
and expand the contribution they make to their
communities. The Network is a joint project of        to know more about the roles and responsibilities of a director and experience a
the State Government’s Department of                  wonderful networking opportunity, we have scholarships available for women to
Agriculture and Department of Local Government
& Regional Development.
                                                      attend the Women on Boards Corporate Governance Workshop for Rural Women on
                                                      10 February 2005. Following the workshop, a networking evening with mentor
RRR Network News helps us to share our
                                                      directors at the Government House Ballroom is open to all urban and rural women at
experiences, information and inspiration with
each other. We’d love to hear your story too.         a small cost. To register for the evening event go to
Contributions are welcome by e-mail                   Please go to for more information on the Corporate Governance
( or by mail.
                                                      Workshop scholarships or contact me on (08) 9861 2022.
Circulation for this edition is 8,000. The
magazine is distributed free to regional              Readers can now access the latest magazines and the writing tips on the RRR
subscribers throughout Western Australia and          website
organisations in Australia and overseas.
                                                      Please continue to send in your stories, websites, my view photos and information.
Editorial material in RRR Network News is
copyright and may not be reproduced without
                                                      Digital photos and electronic articles are gratefully accepted and forward to
permission from the Editor. Views expressed in or to PO Box 311 Wagin 6315.
Network News are not necessarily those of the
RRR Network.                                          Best wishes for a safe and happy Christmas holiday to you and your families.
Christine Thompson                                    Christine Thompson
REGIONAL EDITORIAL COMMITTEE                          Editor
Nicole Egginton, Julie Weir, Jan Trenorden
Christine Thompson
RRR Network News
                                                      Items of Interest
Wagin Community Agriculture Centre
                                                      Industry Partnerships – Corporate Governance        decision making, the theme will be ‘Creating
PO Box 311
Wagin WA 6315                                         for Rural Women Scholarships                        the Vision’ and will be held on Tuesday 29
Tel (08) 9861 2022                                    This initiative allows for one rural woman per      March 2005 in Perth. For more information
Mob. 0427 986 351                                     participating rural Research and Development        contact WA Farmers Office on 08 93252933.
Fax (08) 9861 2125                                    Corporation (RDC) to undertake the Australian
                                                      Institute of Company Director’s Course to assist
                                                                                                          Rural Women in Business Global Learning
Internet –
                                                      them to develop the skills, knowledge and           Centre
RURAL, REMOTE AND REGIONAL WOMEN’S                                                                        An innovative, accessible resource for Austrlian
                                                      networks required to take a more active role in
                                                      representing their industry. Scholarship holders    rural businesswomen offering business
Nicole Egginton (Chair) • Rosa Lincoln • Robyn
Stephens • Nicole Egginton • Elizabeth Hoek •         will receive mentoring from established             education and support activities and
Georgina Taylor • Michele Bentink • Gail Bellotti •   industry leaders. Applications close 17             opportunities. Offers a free subscription to their
Alex Malloch • Jan Trenorden • Suzanne Rigney         December 2004.                                      email newsletter. Membership to all services
• Lynne Mitchell • Jenny Okely • Julie Weir                                                               available at a cost of $40 per person, per year.
                                                      For more information go to or
                                             or 02 62725836.              Subscribe to free email group at
DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND                                                                        or 07 3848 2890.
Stephen Yule                                          Women Chiefs of Enterprises International
                                                                                                          Made in Australia Magazine
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE                             (WCEI) – National Survey
                                                                                                          Free subscription for those interested in finding
Bruce Thorpe                                          The WCEI WA Division, has secured a grant of
                                                                                                          out about new enterprises that have been
DESIGN                                                $50,000.00 from the Office of the Status of
                                                                                                          started around Australia in a variety of new
Linkletters                                           Women to carry out a national survey regarding
                                                                                                          industries. Go to Go to
PRINTING                                              the unemployment experience of Australian
                                                                                                          case studies and information using the search
Quality Press                                         women managers. Little is known of this
                                                                                                          tool then click on Made In Australia magazine.
NEXT EDITION                                          experience, and the research will be the first of
Deadline for copy for Autumn edition of RRR           its kind in Australia and is hoping as many         Rural and Remote Health (RRH) Journal
Network News is Friday 28 January 2005.               female managers as possible will share their
The next edition is due at the beginning of
                                                                                                          RRH provides an easily accessible peer-
                                                      stories and contribute to the research. To find     reviewed evidence base for rural and remote
March 2005.
                                                      out more go to                                      health and invites submissions of interesting
                                                             research and project work for possible
See subscription form on the back page or
contact RRR Network office. Subscribe online at                                                           publication to an international audience.                              WA Farmers Rural Women’s Luncheon –
                                                                                                          Contact Leah Busby 08 8204 4618.
ISSN 1445-7210                                        March 2005                                          To register for a free subscription visit
COVER PHOTO: Lauren Brede performing at the
                                                      Aimed at encouraging women to take up the  and click on free
WAM Industry Awards in Perth (Photo by                opportunity to become involved in industry          registration.
Chris O'Halloran)

6                                                             NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04
                                                                                           WOMEN ON BOARDS

Getting on Board
Women on Boards is taking its            Similar events in Canberra, Brisbane
program to improve the gender            and Melbourne in the past
balance on Australian company            12 months had all been over-
boards to Perth in February 2005.        subscribed and resulted in more
The launch will be held at a major       than 1300 women registering with
networking and mentoring event in the    Women on Boards on the website at          CHRIS CAPEL (FAAW PRESIDENT), LAURA FELL
                                                                                    (CHAIR SAFF CHICKEN MEAT GROUP) AND
Government House Ballroom from                    CATHERINE O'SULLIVAN (QLD DPI) AT THE
5.30pm on Thursday 10 February.                                                     WOMEN ON BOARDS EVENT IN BRISBANE.
                                         “This is part of our strategy of getting
Claire Braund, director of the           women on the board-room radar.             Opportunities for rural women
Foundation for Australian                Members of the WoB network will            In 2003 the Foundation for Australian
Agricultural Women and a member          also soon be able to set up ‘online        Agricultural Women became a
of the Women on Boards National          CVs’ to be searched by head-hunters        partner in Women on Boards and
Management Committee, urged              seeking directors or used by Women         introduced corporate governance
women taking their first step towards                                               forums for rural women to the
                                         on Boards to actively network women
                                                                                    program. These are held between
sitting on a board and current           into board positions.”
                                                                                    11am and 5pm on the same day as
directors looking for new or paid
                                         Market research commissioned in            the evening function to give rural
board positions to attend the event.                                                women opportunity to maximise their
                                         2004 by Women on Boards of 412
“Women on Boards is a professional       Australian companies reveals that          attendance at the event.
network that seeks to give women         only 7% of board members are               The RRR Network will be hosting
practical skills to assist them in how   women and only 2% of companies             the RIRDC Rural Women’s Awards
to get onto corporate, government,       have three female directors.               on the evening of 9th February so
sports and not-for-profit boards.”                                                  that many women will be able to
                                         “These sobering statistics show that
                                                                                    attend all events.
“We run structured mentoring and         women continue to be under
Q&A sessions with a range of male        represented in positions of power          “FAAW has also secured 10 fully
and female directors from not-for-       and influence in Australia and that,       funded places for woolgrower women
profit, sports, government, public and   as a consequence, Australia is             to attend both events plus $300 per
private boards who are there to work     failing to reach its full potential.”      person for travel and accommodation.
                                                                                    Other sponsorship opportunities are
with and assist aspirant directors.”
                                         A key finding of the research is that      being sought for women in the grains
“And in case anyone was thinking –       the main process for identifying           and other industries.”
just another networking event –          prospective board members is
                                                                                    Women interested in attending the
participants will receive follow-up      referral by existing directors (78%)       Perth Women on Boards are invited
emails advising of board positions,      or the MD or CEO (57%). For                to register online at
be supported through the Women on        women this means getting a profile, to
Board director network and have          holding a senior position in a             ensure they receive emails about the
opportunities to access training in      company, getting line management           event. Rural women should visit
the skills required to be a board        and operational experience and    for further
member.”                                 ‘networking like crazy’.                   information about rural scholarships.

  Rural Company Director’s Course February 2005
   The Australian Institute of Company Directors proudly        seeks your support to promote better governance in
   offers the Rural Company Directors Course on 7-11            the rural sector.
   February 2005 to develop practical directorship and
   contemporary corporate governance knowledge and              The live in program will run from 7 – 11 February
   skills for directors and officers of agribusinesses,         2005 inclusive at the Joondalup Resort Hotel at a
   government boards, private and not-for-profit                cost of $5,010 (GST inc) for members of the institute
   companies in the rural sector.                               and $5,495 (GST & 12 months membership to AICD
                                                                inc). The FarmBis subsidy will apply to each eligible
   The Department of Agriculture is again guiding this          primary producer participant.
   program by the development of case studies related
   to rural agribusinesses. The Department encourages           For more information contact Gary Gallagher at (08)
   the participation of rural leaders in the course, and        9322 7400 or

                                                 NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04                                                 7


                                          Rising Generations
                                          By Courtney Whitehall-Holla
In July 2004, fourteen year old
Courtney Whitehall-Holla from
Carnarvon was chosen as one of 125
youth between the ages of 14 and 18     Upon arrival we met with the other         way of getting to know each other in
to attend the second National
                                        delegates and were divided into            a fun way. We had to compete in
Leadership Camp (NLC) in NSW. NLC
                                        tribes of 16, each with three              several games that required us all to
is sponsored by the Commonwealth
                                        mentors. I belonged to the Mohicans        work together to succeed.
government Department of Education,
                                        – thankfully, unlike the Survivor
Science and Training.                                                              Between key note speakers and
                                        series, we didn’t have to hunt for
                                                                                   topic groups we had ‘Niani’ time.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as I had   food and water and we were looked
                                                                                   Niani time was spent reflecting on
never heard of such a camp for the      after very well.
youth of Australia but getting to the                                              the day and writing our thoughts
camp turned out to be a learning        I was the youngest in my tribe but         down. Each evening we met with our
experience in itself. The cost of the   felt included in all discussions and       mentors and tribe to have Council
camp including airfares was             activities. My size was also useful in     time where we debriefed about the
approximately $1000 and I had to        several of the Olympic challenges we       days learning and shared our
raise some money to assist with         had to compete in.                         experiences. Our days began at
paying for this. Jack Payet, my                                                    7.30am and finished around 11 at
                                        The theme of this year’s camp was
classmate, was also attending the                                                  night; needless to say we were too
                                        ‘Rise Up’- Take the Lead and lead us.
camp so we set about the task of                                                   exhausted to get up to any mischief.
raising money together. Thankfully      Each day was built around a topic,
                                                                                   I feel privileged to have been able to
the Police & Citizens Youth Club and    Wednesday was Passion – boundless
                                                                                   participate in the National
the Shire of Carnarvon were happy       enthusiasm, Thursday was Values –
                                                                                   Leadership Camp and would highly
to support us along with our parents.   the things in life we believe to be
                                                                                   recommend the experience. As a
Before we started our adventure we      truly important, Friday was
                                                                                   result, I would like to encourage
had to pack appropriately as we were    Resilience – the ability to recover
                                                                                   regional decision makers around
told the average temperature was        quickly or adjust easily from
                                                                                   Australia, particularly remote regions,
between 2º and 11º at night and a       misfortune or change, Saturday was
                                                                                   to consider setting aside funds each
little warmer during the day. The       Vision – the art of seeing the invisible
                                                                                   year to support youth to participate
average temperature in Carnarvon,       and Sunday was Service – the aim or
                                                                                   in events like this. I was able to
my home-town, is around 24º in          driving force behind great leadership.
                                                                                   promote my town and talk about the
winter and we have the reputation of
                                        Guest speakers offered their               region and what we produce. Most of
being the ‘suns winter home’. Buying
                                        thoughts and experiences about             the delegates had never heard of
thermal underclothes in a small rural
                                        making a difference by becoming a          Carnarvon or the Gascoyne before
North West town is nearly impossible.
                                        leader. Robyn Moore, the voice             meeting Jack and I. The skills you
Jack and I borrowed gloves,             behind Blinky Bill was personally          develop flow on into your school and
beanies, scarves and thermal wear       inspirational. Robyn was passionate,       wider community and everyone
and set off on our 5000km               motivational and funny.                    benefits. It would be a worthwhile
adventure to Kurrajong. We were
                                                                                   investment in the future of regional
met at Sydney airport by a group        Team building was practiced with
                                                                                   Western Australia and its youth.
mentor called Kiwi and boarded a        the Rising Generation Olympics
bus to the Blue Mountains and the       which were scheduled between the           For more information go to
camp venue.                             tribes on day two. This was a good

8                                               NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04

                                                               Young Leaders
                                                               from the Wheatbelt
                                                               LEARNING TO TRUST AND WORK
                                                               TOGETHER AT THE WORKSHOP.

Recently thirty young leaders between 16 and 26 years of       being planned for community members who work with
age, came from all over the Wheatbelt to participate in        young people to provide them with the skills to be able
two days of leadership training and capacity building.         to motivate and develop the young people in their
This was the beginning of the Wheatbelt Youth                  community as young leaders.
Leadership project, designed to provide young people
                                                               The Wheatbelt ACC will also be supporting all workshop
with the skills needed to address youth and community
                                                               participants to take on new community responsibilities and
issues and improve Wheatbelt communities for the young
                                                               develop, implement and manage their project ideas.
people living in them.
                                                               The emphasis is on encouraging young people to get
The workshops provided young leaders with an                   involved in making a difference, and to learn from their
opportunity to come together, share ideas, build new           experiences and actions. The progress of the participants
networks and improve their leadership skills. Over the two     will be recorded so that young people right across the
days, a whole variety of skill development sessions were       Wheatbelt can be inspired and also learn how they too, can
conducted, including working with community groups,            become involved to a greater degree in their communities.
meeting facilitation, building and maintaining networks,       A further challenge is to involve more community
public speaking, finding funding, writing grants, planning     members as mentors for the young leaders. The role of
a community social event, presentation skills and working      mentors will be to provide advice, guidance and support
with Local Governments.                                        – someone the young people can chat to when they
                                                               come across an obstacle or need assistance. “We would
“Overall, the message from the workshops was that
                                                               like to create a network of mentors with a whole variety
young people have the ability to take responsibility for
                                                               of different interests, skills and backgrounds”, said
the future of their communities. There is a huge need
                                                               Rebecca. “This will provide young people with the
for young people to take on a greater role in their            opportunity to access a great range of knowledge and
communities and be active in working to improve them”,         develop support networks across the region.”
commented Rebecca House, the Wheatbelt Youth
Leadership project manager.                                    The motivation, determination and hard working, positive
                                                               attitudes of the young people currently involved in the
At the conclusion of the workshops, participants               Wheatbelt Youth Leadership project, communicates a
identified projects and ideas they would like to start and     strong message that Wheatbelt young people want to
work towards in their communities. A network of                stay and be actively involved in their communities. This
community mentors from across the region will support          project is empowering young people to achieve this.
the young leaders to implement these ideas and
successfully achieve their goals for their community.          For more information contact Rebecca House at
Some of the identified projects included attracting more
                                                               The Wheatbelt Youth Leadership project is an initiative of the
entertainment to communities and existing events,
                                                               Wheatbelt Area Consultative Committee (ACC) and is funded
encouraging Local Governments to be more active in             by the Australian Government Department of Family and
communicating with young people, developing a Ball /           Community Services.
Dance for Wheatbelt Emergency Services personnel,
creating new sporting competitions, improving the
leadership skills of existing Youth Advisory Councils and
Rural Youth groups and many others.
                                                             “The motivation, determination andthe
                                                              hard working, positive attitudes of
These workshops are just the beginning of a continued          young people…communicates a
focus in this region on building the capacity of young         strong message that Wheatbelt young
people. Leadership workshops for 12-17 year olds will
be conducted through interested schools and existing
                                                               people want to stay and be actively
youth groups in February 2005. Workshops are also              involved in their communities.
                                                  NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04                                                        9

                         Young Women Leading –
                         Kimberley Style


Garduwa Youth Sport and                    principles coaching course                 “We hope that each year we have
Recreation is the peak indigenous          delivered by Department of Sport           more leaders wanting to be a part of
sporting industry in the Kimberley         and Recreation regional services           this great experience, as at the end
and is committed to providing              manager Andrea Mitchell.                   of the day we want to be able to
sporting opportunities to young                                                       provide opportunities that all women
                                           “We decided that with the new
people living in remote areas.                                                        can grab a hold of so that we have
                                           leadership program we would like
Garduwa also holds youth leadership                                                   more female leaders in the future.”
                                           our girls to walk away with
camps throughout the year and one
of the most successful is the Argyle
Diamonds Young Women’s
                                           accreditation’s in different courses
                                           that will benefit them in the future
                                           and give them something they can
                                                                                    “ Girls smileswalking away
                                                                                                   on their faces
Leadership Camp.
                                           use back in their communities,”            knowing everything was
This year they had 35 participants         said Leadership Program
from across the Kimberley, their           Coordinator Laylu Yu.
                                                                                      over and that they had
largest number yet.                                                                   gained something at
                                           “Upon presentation of their
Those who attend the camp over
three years have the opportunity to
                                           certificates, the girls were extremely
                                           pleased,” said Laylu. “Girls were
                                                                                      the end of it.
                                                                                      Garnduwa is also responsible for
complete a nationally accredited           walking away with smiles on their
                                                                                      maintaining three main sporting
certificate two in leadership              faces knowing everything was over
                                                                                      areas on behalf of their respective
development, with the first certificate    and that they had gained
                                                                                      state associations, they are football,
being completed in the first two           something at the end of it.”
                                                                                      basketball and athletics, as well as
years and the second certificate
                                           Garduwa chairperson Marmingee              support other associations such as
being completed in the third year.
                                           Hand said the camp continued to            tennis, netball and softball in
This year four young women                 be a great success each year.              delivery of their programs.
completed their certificates.
                                           “The Argyle Diamond Young                  Garduwa and these kinds of
While on the camp the girls took           Women’s Leadership Camp is one             leadership camps play a valuable
part in workshops based around             that continues to expand and grow          role in young people’s lives,
sport, leadership, health, career          for the better and we find that many       particularly young women, instilling
opportunities, team building and           of our participants mature into great      them with knowledge and the
culture. This year they also               leaders that eventually come back          confidence to excel in all areas
participated in a level one general        to help run the program,” she said.        of life.

  Churchill Fellowship Applications Open
  The Churchill Trust is now calling for applications for        ability for future achievement in any walk of life. The
  the 2005 and close on the last day of February 2005.           value of an applicant’s work to the community and the
  Fellows spend about eight weeks overseas                       extent to which it will be enhanced by the applicant’s
  investigating topics that will benefit Australia and add       proposed project are important criteria.
  to Australia’s knowledge base. Merit is the primary test       For more information check the website
  whether based on past achievements or demonstrated    or freecall 1800 777 231

10                                                 NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04

                                                                                                                   WAT H E R O O

                                          Opportunity for a
                                          By Louise House

                                                                                    I feel extremely privileged to have
                                                                                    been chosen to participate.

 LOUISE HOUSE                           “Isurviving how we do
                                           see rural Australia
                                                                                    ARLP insists that you know yourself
                                                                                    and identify clearly your priorities.
Louise House has been a partner           on farms, where                           Work – life balance, family, our
with her husband Kim in a grain and
sheep farm in the Midwest for the
past 22 years. Many years ago she
                                          everyone is involved.
                                          involved in the Australian Rural
                                                                             ”      communities in rural and regional
                                                                                    Australia, the world and how we fit
                                                                                    in. There are lifetimes of challenges
made a conscious decision to learn        Leadership Program (ARLP).                to be taken up and it pleases me
as much as she could about                This was a wonderful opportunity to       greatly as I see the tide starting to
agricultural industries, the day to       actually acquire some skills and do       turn in developing leadership
day running of the farm and the           things better as I felt rural areas are   opportunities for rural people.
business. In 2002 she was invited         in need of effective and educated
to participate in the AWB Managing                                                  Leadership does not necessarily
                                          leaders. If we do not help ourselves      mean being out the front.
Director’s roundtable which led to        and get the message out about our
her acceptance into the Australian                                                  Leadership is “thinking
                                          needs and the realities we face, I felt   constructively about the group”.
Rural Leadership Program (ARLP)
                                          our future was in jeopardy. I see         I like that and it suits my style.
last year. Louise is now half way
                                          rural and regional areas contribute
through the program.                                                                I see rural Australia surviving how
                                          so much to the real fabric of life (let
Fear and a sense of responsibility        alone economically). The image is so      we do on farms, where everyone is
spurred me on to learn more. How          poor and our power to influence           involved. It doesn’t mean we all do
would I cope with the legacy of a         declining. Perhaps there was a place      the same things, it means we take
beautiful, exceptionally well run and     for me over the next few years.           what each of us is good at and
loved farm if something happened to                                                 develop from there. We must work
                                          Since becoming involved with ARLP         together and do it ourselves, with
my husband Kim. Since then I have
                                          I have been challenged. Travelling        strong connections to others in
actively pursued knowledge and
                                          with such an amazing group of             positions of influence. A really
understanding, and also been
                                          highly motivated and talented             strong, rural Australia will be built
involved in the practical, out-of-
                                          individuals on a national level is an     with men, women and youth.
doors farming.
                                          exciting, exhausting and constantly       Leadership, broadening of
I have been involved in education,        challenging experience. I constantly      education , call it what you like,
health, kids sport and the arts in        question my opinions, beliefs and         is the key and I would encourage
our district over many years in           ideas. I learn and absorb ideas,          anyone who has a passion and an
varying capacities, with an               perspectives and understandings           interest to take opportunities
emphasis on communication and             from the group as well as those           presented to them. Seek
often involved in identifying and         presenting to the group. The topics       opportunities out and develop your
attempting to implement change.           we cover range from                       strengths in the areas you are
The AWB Managing Director’s               multiculturalism to the prison            passionate about and in the time
Roundtable brought together a             system; economic outlook and              that is comfortable with you. You will
diverse group of growers from             globalization to the challenges of        be amazed at the talent, dedication
around Australia to provide               trade in agriculture; to how the          and passion you meet!
informed comment from a grower’s          Victorian Police Force trains its
perspective. As a result of my            leaders, and everything in between.       For more information on ARLP
passionate and abiding interest in        It is exhaustive, challenging and         go to
the grains industry, I became             demanding of thought and time.            or phone (02) 6281 0680.

                                                 NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04                                                  11

                                                                                                                          FLEUR AT THE STARLIGHT HOTEL, RIVERSIDE


     From Little Things Big Things Grow
     – A Riverside Perspective
                                                         By Fleur Porter

                                                         In 2001 Fleur Porter and her family embarked on a nature-based farm tourism venture with the
                                                         idea of promoting sustainable land management on a working property, alongside the fabulous
                                                         natural values of the Australian bush and Murchison River.

                                                         The Porter family has been on “Riverside” since 1927, but management and values have
                                                         changed a lot over four generations and I have been incredibly lucky that my father had the
                                                         vision to start protecting the land from the impacts of agriculture and grazing 35-40 years ago.
                                                         This has created a place that is not only beautiful to live in, but has been able to sustain our
                                                         family economically, and has more recently created an opportunity to diversify into a business
                                                         whose ‘product’ is our natural environment.

                                                         Once a traditional wheat and sheep farm, the potential for tourism has
                                                         probably always existed on our property, but sometimes you are too
                                                         close to where you live and work to see how wonderful it might be to
                                                         other people. When a family friend saw the potential, our family
                                                         grasped the opportunity. We renovated existing accommodation on the
                                                         farm and developed nature-based tours that took in the wonders of the
                                                         local bush and the rich history of farming and Landcare.
                                                                                                                                       RUSSELL GRIEVE, FLEUR PORTER,
                                                         When we began the tourism venture it wasn’t with the aim of financial         APRIL (8) AND IMOGEN (1)
                                                         gain. We hope that in the medium term (10 years) it sustains itself, but      (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE
                                                                                                                                       GERALDTON GUARDIAN)
                                                         we have been fortunate in that our farming enterprise has been able to
                                                         carry it in the early stages. We no longer have livestock on the farm,
                                                         but have continued our broad acre cropping enterprise.                      “This has createdonly
                                                                                                                                      place that is not

                                                         Tourism has produced an additional form of income not totally                 beautiful to live in,
                                                         dependant on the weather (like farming), yet is still an integral part of
                                                         our land management systems. It also provides full-time employment
                                                                                                                                       but has been able
                                                         for me and part-time work for three other family members –my Dad              to sustain our family
                                                         (Bob), my Mum (Dawn) and my partner (Russell).                                economically...
                                                         It has made us want to build on what we already have to make a great product we are proud to
                                                         market. As well as providing experiences in facets unrelated to farming we have created an
                                                         avenue to meet all kinds of people from Australia and the world. At the same time we get to

12                                                                                 NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04

deliver the message of the importance of caring for our        a presentation of live birds of prey by Just Raptors.
natural environment, and have even expanded to run             My philosophy is that when someone calls and asks if
educational day visits and camps with an environmental         we can do something I always say yes, and the logistics
theme for school and special interest groups.                  get sorted out afterwards. And to date everything has
                                                               always fallen into place!
Our hard work and dedication to local landscapes has
paid off. In the last year we have won a 2003 WA
Environment Award: Small Business Leading by
                                                               2. Being passionate – base what you do and how
                                                               you do it on your life’s ethics. You will be proud of what
Example and a 2004 Banksia Environmental Award:
                                                               you do and will be able to market yourself so much
Environmental Leadership in the Rural Sector. These
                                                               more effectively because people sense you are doing
awards have made me realise that we are doing the right
                                                               what you believe in.
thing, and this is recognised much further afield.
Although to us, our efforts may seem small in the              When we began I found the marketing side of the
scheme of things every little bit contributes to the bigger    business very daunting because I had very limited sales
picture of seeking sustainability.                             experience and am not the ‘sales person’ type. However
                                                               the better our product gets, the prouder I am of what we
Starting a small business or doing something a bit
                                                               do and I get excited about telling people about it and
different in a regional, rural and remote area can be a
                                                               wanting them to experience it too. Many of our visitors
big challenge. Our success has been based on a whole
                                                               have commented on our passion for the environment,
realm of factors, but three important ones are:
                                                               and it works to encourage and inspire people.
1. Having vision & thinking Big – I’m sure all of              3. Having a strong support network and using
you would have heard the saying ‘From little things big        it – for some, like me, it is my family and partner, but
things grow’ – and it’s true. Getting big ideas and getting    it also includes other people who work in the tourism
visionary often only need small beginnings and a little bit    industry and friends near and far.
of encouragement to develop.
                                                               Friends and family can help with emotional support,
From our small beginnings providing self-contained             babysitting and encouragement to name a few, and
house accommodation and tours, we have found we can            there is also a whole wider support network out there.
just about do anything – it is just a matter of being          These people are the ones who drop you emails when
flexible with our arrangements. Our Shearing Shed has          you win an award, or get in the local paper, or invite you
evolved into a group function and camping venue and            to local forums or events (and usually the ones who ask
some of the events we have hosted in the Shed have             you to do presentations and write articles!). Help and
included a variety of school camps, the WA Wine and            information is never more than an email or phone call
Food society, who were treated to feast of local produce       away and if you use your networks and resources your
and 180 star-gazers for a conference dinner in the             business will grow.
Shearing Shed last July, the night before the birth of my
                                                               In 2003 I was encouraged to do a submission for
                                                               funding from the Regional Tourism Program supported
                                                               by AusIndustry for renovations to our Shearing Shed to
                                                               improve our group facilities. We were successful in our
                                                               grant application and thanks to government assistance
                                                               the Shearing Shed now sports the most fantastic two-
                                                               tiered deck with ramp access, huge windows and a fire-
                                                               pit. I can honestly say that until the deck was finished
                                                               I had no idea what a grand addition to our venture it
                                                               would be, and all it took was a bit of encouragement
                                                               and a couple of days to do the submission and get
                                                               supporting documentation. We provide matching funds,
                                                               but in the end it is money that we would probably spend
                                                               in the future anyway. Spending it now means we got our
                                                               project happening sooner. And I must say we have the
                                                               flashest Shearing Shed in Ajana (and possibly WA!)

SHEARING SHED WITH RAMP AND DECK                               So the invitation stands – you should just come and
                                                               check it out!
second daughter Imogen. This event started off from an
informal email from a friend asking if we could possibly       For more information on Riverside Sanctuary contact
host a BBQ in the Shed for 80-100 people and ended             Fleur Porter on (08) 9936 1021 or
up a catered dinner for 180 with interpretive activities or check out the website
including a short walking tour, my Dad’s Slide Show and

                                                  NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04                                               13


                               Broome women
                               leading the
                               wedding market
                                                                                         GERRI AND ROSEMARY AT KARRATHA’S FENACLNG FESTIVAL
                               By Vanessa Dylan
                                                                                         DONATING RAFFLE TO THE KARRATHA SALVATION ARMY

Couples tying the knot have decided                   afterwards in a really beautiful                being undertaken by Australia’s
that Broome far outweighs many of                     location – either indoors or outdoors.”         North West Tourism – our regional
the other destinations available on                                                                   tourism body,” says Gerri.
the international holiday market,                     According to Rosemary, couples are
according to thriving local business                  explore having a wedding that’s a               Gerri should know as she used to
Broome Wedding Services.                              little bit different. “We married a             work for that regional tourism body
                                                      couple on horse back in 2002 and                from 1996 to 1999 and it was here
The company’s success has sky                         recently had an enquiry about a                 she first recognised an untapped
rocketed since its inception in 1999                  nude wedding!” she said.                        market. She established Broome
and directors Rosemary McGuigan                                                                       Wedding Services in 1999 and
and Gerri Ranieri believe the major                   In 2003, Rosemary and Gerri
                                                                                                      organised one wedding in the first
factors are the attraction of barefoot,               hosted more than 35 weddings.
                                                                                                      year. In January 2001 she was joined
stress free weddings and the                          This year they expect to double this
                                                                                                      by Rosemary who, coincidently, was
beautiful climate that the tropical                   number. Definitely a growth
                                                                                                      working at the KTA at the time of
town offers. The growth in air access                 business, the weddings market is
                                                                                                      being approached by Gerri. She took
into the region has also helped                       proving lucrative to the local
                                                                                                      on a full-time role with Broome
enormously with travel to Broome                      economy. On average Broome
                                                                                                      Weddings in September 2001 and
from Sydney, Melbourne and                            Weddings estimate they bring
                                                                                                      hasn’t looked back.
Adelaide much more attractive with                    between 20 – 30 guests who stay a
direct flights from all three centres.                minimum of three nights.                        “Actually at the time I was
                                                                                                      contemplating simplifying my life
“Many couples getting married these                   “It is a very unrecognised market,
                                                                                                      and withdrawing from the four
days are older and do not place such                  and one that is rapidly growing. In
                                                                                                      voluntary committee positions
a high priority on having the                         2004 we are looking at generating
                                                                                                      I held. Of course I had to do this
traditional white church wedding,”                    nearly 3000 bed nights, and that’s
                                                                                                      anyway, but I think I jumped in the
says Gerri. “They prefer a casual and                 only if they stay a minimum of three
                                                                                                      deep end when I decided to fully
more intimate wedding where guests                    nights. It’s becoming more apparent
                                                                                                      commit to the burgeoning wedding
can gather on the beach for the                       that the guests are now choosing to
                                                                                                      market,” she said.
ceremony and enjoy a reception                        stay longer and I think this has a lot
                                                      to do with the excellent marketing              One year later Bali was bombed and
                                                                                                      Broome Weddings started to feel the
  Small Business Exporters Network                                                                    effect of losing one of the world’s
                                                                                                      most popular wedding destinations.
  If you’re a small business operator who is interested in exporting, now’s
  the perfect time to join the Small Business Exporters Network.                                      “Enquiries went through the roof and
                                                                                                      it was tragic knowing that we were
  An initiative of the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC), the                             benefiting as a result of the terrorist
  network was launched in October. It provides free guidance to prepare                               attack in Bali. However, since then
  small business operators for exporting their products or services.                                  we’ve realised that we must have got
                                                                                                      it right because two years later as
  SBDC managing director, George Etrelezis said exports from regional
                                                                                                      Bali is reinventing itself, our business
  Western Australia are particularly important because they generate local
                                                                                                      is still growing,” said Gerri.
  jobs, stimulate the economy and add to the social fabric of the community.
  One of the most popular features of the network is an interactive online                            This year, Rosemary and Gerri
                                                                                                      completed their busiest week yet
  forum. It provides a focal point for discussion and generates a culture of peer
                                                                                                      with four weddings in five days.
  support, regardless of where businesses are located throughout the State.
                                                                                                      This saw them rushing between
  Join the Small Business Exporters Network at                              Riddell Beach and Cable Beach
  The SBDC is funded by the West Australian Government to deliver small business guidance             making sure brides were happy,
  throughout the State. It is complemented by a network of 35 Business Enterprise Centres located     celebrants were on time and the
  across the State.
                                                                                                      grooms turned up!

14                                                              NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04

A Fascinating Journey                                                                                  Jessie
By Viti Simmons

                   Viti Simmons and her husband have                                                   Street
                   spent the last 18 months travelling
                   around Australia and New Zealand.
                   During their travels Viti has interviewed
                   women in small business in RRR areas.
                   She has established a website which
                   profiles and links women in small
                   business. In January 2005, Viti and
                                                                  Who We Are
Paul return to the South West. Viti shares snippets of the
                                                                  The Library was established in 1989 and named in
Western Australian leg of their travels.
                                                                  honour of Jessie Street, who campaigned throughout her
                                                                  life for rights for women. As a specialist library, it
17 July 2003
                                                                  contains material about women and women’s issues, and
In the vehicle, caravan in tow, big sigh, let’s go! Paul turns
                                                                  is a valuable educational resource run by a group of
the key and guess what, a flat battery. First lesson learnt.
                                                                  dedicated volunteers
“Drove out from Lot 122, Yallingup at 3.30 pm, tired,
eager to go. What a Herculean effort to pull this off.” First
stop was Boyup Brook. This was all we could manage.
                                                                  What We Hold
Second lesson was “…we arrived in the dark and parked             The Research Collection contains both fiction, which
on uneven ground.” Third lesson was that “…we would               concentrates on Australian women writers, and non-
need to laugh when it all comes tumbling down.”                   fiction. The collection is held in perpetuity for the use of
                                                                  present and future generations. The public may borrow
The interconnectedness that prevailed throughout our              other items through the interlibrary loan service. Items in
travels in Western Australia never ceased to amaze me.            the Loan Collection may be borrowed by members.
However, having spent the last thirty years in regional           Conditions apply.
North West and South West Regions of Western
Australia provided some understanding of such.                    What We Can Do for You
Nevertheless, it was the regularity, to which it occurred,
                                                                  We are particularly anxious to provide a service to
that amazed me. The following example highlights such
                                                                  members who live in remote areas, whose access to
an occasion.
                                                                  women’s material is limited. The archivist will also search
I walked into the Fitzroy Crossing Tourist Information            archival material for relevant information for you. There is
Centre and spotted material promoting a local Aboriginal          a fee for these services.
woman artist, named Raelene Mirindoo. Once I gained
information from a staff member on the appropriate way            What You Can Do for Us
to meet with this woman, I then drove out to the Bayulu           Write Women’s Stories
Community where Raelene lived. Following our meeting              We are encouraging women to write their own stories, or
I was then introduced to her husband Stanley. On my               those of their mothers or grandmothers and send them
return I mentioned to Paul that I had also met her                as contributions to our Tapestry project. The stories of
husband who it seems was the same local tracker who               the lives and activities of ordinary Australian women form
Paul had met when he had participated in the                      a valuable social document.
‘Adventurewest’ Management Course in 1993. The next
day we headed back out to the community and spent an              Deposit Material with our Archives
enjoyable afternoon reminiscing. The following day                Women’s letters, diaries, journals etc are welcome
Stanley obtained permission to take us into an area               additions to our archives. This material is valuable and
called Kelly’s Pass. What a privilege this was! We                should be preserved and indexed as a resource. Without
departed Fitzroy Crossing warmed by yet another                   our documents, we lose our history.
interconnectedness on this journey.
                                                                  Become a Member
The opportunity to view areas of Australia and New                The Library has no government or other funding and
Zealand through the lens of women in small business               relies on membership subscriptions, donations and
has been a joy. To celebrate this I have released an              special functions to meet running costs.
independent music CD. This original instrumental
background music is wrapped around voiceovers from                Jessie Street National Women’s Library,
seven of the women who are profiled on the website.               GPO Box 2656, Sydney, NSW 2001
They talk about ‘…what motivates and sustains me                  Tel: (02) 9265 9486 Fax: (02) 9265 9646
as a woman in small business…’                                    Email:
It is available at

                                                     NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04                                                15


                                                                                   The Cape Le
                                                                                   Grande Experience!
                                                                                   By Vanessa Malcolm

Over the past 18 months, Tricia Lord and myself had been discussing the various things that we would like to see
happen in our area. One of the ideas that came out of this was a Women’s Farm Study tour for the local ladies to see
what other people were doing with their businesses and lives elsewhere. So since no-one else in the area was doing it,
we thought why not, let’s give it a go!

We decided to head south and see           We visited many different types
what farming and other businesses          of industries including; art
were doing in the Albany and               galleries, a bed and breakfast,
Esperance region. To begin with, we        wildflower enterprises, wineries,
were uncertain about the level of          family run restaurants, texel
interest within the community. So in
                                           sheep, raised beds, water
early 2004, we started planning and
                                           management, marron and trout,
advertising in the local and
surrounding areas for some feedback        jojoba, open gardens, value
                                           adding using olives,                      VISITING A JOJOBA PLANTATION IN WAGIN
on interest. We found that word of
mouth travels the fastest; we even         passionfruit, avocado, berries, a         back to the group. This proved to be
had people from out of the area            vegetable farm growing asparagus          challenging to some people,
interested in joining us on the tour.      and berries and fish leather.             however, everyone performed very
Twenty two people came to our first                                                  well and gained a lot from the
meeting encouraging us with their          We were given a tour of the
                                                                                     experience. The reports that were
interest and willingness to participate.   Esperance CBH port facilities and
                                                                                     written were compiled at the end of
                                           the grain drying facilities. All the
Finding a date and determining the                                                   the trip and given to the ladies and
                                           people we spoke to were
length of the tour were the next                                                     our sponsors. We also had a variety
                                           passionate, enthusiastic and loved
challenges. We had originally thought                                                of guest speakers come and share
                                           what they did, which showed
that September would be a great                                                      their experiences with us.
                                           through the way they worked their
month but found we had to dodge
events like weddings, footy grand          business and produce.                     The amazing thing that we as
finals and field days which all had                                                  organisers picked up was how
                                           The highlight of the trip was in          willing people were to share their
the potential to affect our numbers.
                                           Esperance, where we were joined           experiences with other people; all
Eventually we decided that we
                                           by a group of 23 ladies from the          you had to do was ask. We also
needed 6 nights and 7 days to cover
the south coast. Our final thirty three    surrounding areas who had travelled       realised that when you are dealing
participants came from various             up to three hours just to be with us.     with such a large number of people,
districts around the wheatbelt,            Thanks especially to Natalie              planning is essential, however, as
including; Dowerin, Goomalling,            Bowman for organising this leg of         we all know things don’t always go
Wongan Ballidu, Calingiri, Northam,        the trip.                                 according to plan so the need to be
Koorda and Doodlakine.                                                               flexible on a trip like this was also
                                           Not only did the ladies come home
So on the 13th September, our                                                        very important. The other thing to
                                           with lots of innovative ideas,
group met in Goomalling to begin                                                     keep in mind are your obligations
                                           enthusiasm and hopefully the energy
their great adventure down south.                                                    towards your sponsors. We received
                                           to begin a new enterprise, the tour
The tour brought together women in                                                   fantastic support from our sponsors
                                           helped to build personal skills not
their late 20's to early 70's from                                                   for which we are very grateful.
                                           only of the social kind! The ladies
diverse backgrounds. We wanted to
                                           found out about themselves as well        Finally the most important thing
bring people together to look at
                                           as others on the trip. A few people       when it comes to organising a tour
various businesses and hoped that
the ladies would bring home some           were definitely pushed out of their       such as this is to have fun and don’t
ideas that could be implemented on         comfort zones as at all of the sites      be too serious. Believe in yourself,
a local level.                             visited everyone took turns to report     if we can do it so can you!

16                                                NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04

      Making Technology
      Work for Us                                                                     Info Online
      By Deborah Rice                                                       
                                                                                      Latest information and ideas about
      The use of technology can sometimes sound ‘scary’ but when it is used to
                                                                                      parenting including books, tip
      achieve a purpose we often forget the ‘tools’ and just concentrate on the
      purpose. The biggest hurdles include overcoming our fear of the unknown and     sheets, pictures and other
      not wanting to look stupid making it easy to miss out on opportunities.         innovative resources and a free
      This year the Adult Learners’ Week committee worked with the Telecentre         online parenting course
      Network to push some boundaries and create learning opportunities that
      captured people’s interest.
                                                                                      A national 24-hour family
                                                                                      relationships counselling service to
                                                                                      me wanting to manage relationships
                                                                                      with partners, ex-partners and
                                                                                      children, especially following divorce
                                                                                      and separation

                                                                                      Australian government website
                                                                                      providing information on teenagers
                                                                                      and drugs

      The themes for Adult Learners’          around us. We all have skills in
      Week 2004 were “Sharing between         something, and sharing these with       Provides relationship advice and
      the Generations” and Reaching Out       others is a rewarding experience.       counselling
      to the Regions”. An online chat         Gail lives her life by challenging
      session with Gail Short ensured that    herself to a make a difference, and
      people, no matter where they lived,     encourages others to take on this       Australian government website for
      could access this conversation. The     philosophy as sometimes it just         women including information on
      chat was hosted on the RRR              takes a smile or word of                training and education
      Network website, the guest speaker      encouragement to make a                 opportunities, grants and services to
      was in Perth, the moderator in          difference to someone else.
                                                                                      rural, remote and regional women
      Denmark, and contributors came
                                              Along the theme of making a
      from across the State ranging from                                    
                                              difference, Gail spoke of
      Kununurra to Bremer Bay.                                                        A new online directory listing a small
                                              Telecentres in developing countries
                                              and the opportunity for Western         collection of websites from the book,

“Gail’s message was to
 always embrace learning
                                              Australian Telecentres to provide
                                              support by sharing ideas, templates
                                                                                      at no cost, each month

                                              and information. This idea was
 opportunities whatever they                  embraced by some centres that will
                                                                                      Self-assessment tool available for
 may be, as life long learning                discuss it with their community and     people considering farm tourism,
                                                                                      home stays, bed and breakfasts or
 keeps us involved and                        work on progressing it further.
                                                                                      other types of rural tourism
 interested in what is                        Technology allows regional people
 happening around us.
                                 ”            to link into information and
                                              activities, reducing the barrier of
                                              distance that we all experience.
                                                                                      Help keep lifeline on the line by
      Telecentres in regional areas                                                   making a donation to the Lifeline
      provided assisted access for            It is a matter of us learning what is   National Appeal. Lifeline provides
      community members to take part in       available and having the courage to     telephone counselling service to
      this activity.                          try it – and then try it again, so we   anyone, anywhere, any time, giving
                                              truly live by the principles of life    rural Australians the chance to talk
      Gail’s message was to always            long learning.                          about personal, relationship and
      embrace learning opportunities
      whatever they may be, as life long      More information on the                 family issues
      learning keeps us involved and          Telecentre Network go to
      interested in what is happening

                                                     NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04                                                17

     The Country Styled Lady
     by Angela Byron

             We all know her; the Country Styled Lady.
             She of the gardening clogs and apron,
             She of the rose arbour and effortless herbs.
             She knows no jangled piles of dirty boots & bits,
             No muddy dog marks & flies by her door.
             The Country Styled Lady cooks;
             Rack of Lamb in Red Wine Jus,
             Poached Pears with Pomegranate Parfait,                                        Lazy Colleen
             Fresh Goat Cheese Souffle’                                                     By Wendy Newman
             She knows no freezer bulging with last weeks beast,                            “Lazy Colleen” is not the sort of title
             No UHT & powdered for her.                                                     that would jump off the shelf at me.
                                                                                            I have a thing about books that
             The Country Styled Lady wears white;
                                                                                            portray females in a negative way.
             P.O.A linen shirts, dainty pink mules,                                         This is one time, however to
             A symphony of shabby chic for her lounge.                                      remember not to judge a book by
                                                                                            it’s cover – or it’s title!
             Never worn out blue denim, calf milk splattered shirt,
                                                                                            Subtitled an Australian Story, and
             Milk arrowroot biscuits, inground.
                                                                                            written by York writer Helen
             The Country Styled Lady reads,                                                 Elizabeth Turton, Lazy Colleen
             At her leisure, sipping tea out of Doulton                                     captures the personalities of a range
                                                                                            of farm dogs familiar to us all – Ky-
     ……………. I’d finish this poem but I have to go and move some                             imba the kelpie, Mac Truck the bull
     sheep & feed calves before I meet the school bus and check on the                      terrier and Jack Russell (!!) seek
     bloke digging the dam, oh, and remind me to fax the accountant and                     help from a wise old Labrador to
     wool bloke and make sure there’s firewood and ingredients for                          solve Colleen’s perceived lack of
     tomorrows smoko.                                                                       interest in ‘proper’ farm activity.
     Love                                                                                   Kevin Griffiths illustrations capture
     The Country Lady                                                                       these personalities beautifully.

                                                                                            It’s a cute kids story, and although
                                                                                            the rhyming couplets jar in a couple
                                                                                            of places, making it difficult to read
              Letters to the Editor

                                      I am taking a session of a TAFE course                in the way it should be read for little
                                      with a NOW group in Geraldton and                     one’s, it’s a great book to put on the
                                      used your magazine as an example of                   Christmas list. It is $10 per copy
                                      what other RRR women are doing in WA.                 plus postage or $8 plus postage for
                                      Thank you for the effort you put into this            any school wishing to purchase it.
                                      magazine. As I’ve said before I read it
                                      from cover to cover. I always feel                    Draw Your Dog
                                      encouraged by the creativity and                      RRR has been kindly given a copy
                                      resourcefulness of women in our large                 of Lazy Colleen by Helen Elizabeth
                                      isolated state.                                       Turton to give away. If you are under
                                                                                            eight and would like to win a copy
                                      Keep up the good work.                                we are asking for you to send in a
                                      Roma Parker                                           drawing of your dog by the 14th
                                      Mingenew                                              January 2005 to:
                                                                                            RRR Network News
                                                                                            ‘Lazy Colleen’
                                                                                            PO Box 311
                                                                                            WAGIN, WA, 6315

18                                                                 NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04



                        A cup of coffee and a bright idea
                        By Norma Sutherland

    It is amazing what a simple            of our own community would need.          willingly give up their time to help
    discussion over a cup of coffee can                                              us hold the event. Now that
                                           The date was set for the inaugural
    produce. Just over eight years ago I                                             Crawford Lodge has been built the
                                           Midwest Toyota SwimThru Cancer
    was owner operator of the                                                        Cancer Council shares the proceeds
                                           for the last weekend of the season,
    refreshment kiosk at Geraldton                                                   with the Geraldton Palliative Care
                                           which happened to be mid April.
    Aquatic Centre. During a quiet                                                   Service. We have also taken
                                           Sure it was going to be a little chilly
    period at the beginning of the new                                               advantage of having a captive
                                           but the discomfort the swimmers
    summer season the pool manager,                                                  audience to promote several lifestyle
    Colin Hassell, and I were chatting     would experience would be nothing
                                                                                     messages such as eating more fruit
    over a cup of coffee and wondered      compared to that which cancer
                                                                                     and veg, quit smoking, regular
    what we could do to mark the           patients have to endure. It would be
                                                                                     physical activity and family values.
    twenty fifth anniversary of the pool   a reminder to us all just how
                                                                                     We encourage families to register by
    opening. By the time the coffee        important it is to consider others
                                                                                     giving them a discounted rate.
    was finished, we had decided to        less fortunate than ourselves in our
                                                                                     The credibility of the event has been
    hold a twenty-five hour fun relay      journey through life, and who
                                                                                     enhanced by the participation and
    swimming event. Eavesdroppers          knows, it could even be one of us
                                                                                     promotion by many of the city’s
    thought we were quite mad!             some day.
                                                                                     doctors and medical specialists.
                                           We kept it simple. Eight lanes for        The Community has taken
We were going to make a
commitment to a high profile
                                           eight teams of as many people as
                                           possible. We charged a nominal
                                                                                     ownership of the event and look
                                                                                     forward to it each year.
                                           participation and encouraged
charity for something that                 people to bring tents and stay
                                                                                     To date we have raised over
                                                                                     $50,000 and have swum the
many members of our own                    overnight by providing meal. It all       distance from Geraldton very nearly
community would need.
                                 ”         went extremely well. The City of
                                           Geraldton willingly supported us,
                                           local businesses donated food and
                                                                                     to Cairns. Every item of
                                                                                     refreshment, stationery, postage,
    Undaunted by knockers we were                                                    equipment etc has been donated
    immediately enthused by the            drinks and Midwest Toyota tipped in       since that first event so that every
    possibilities and very early on we     cash for the naming rights.               cent raised has been donated to the
    decided that, as it was a birthday,                                              cause. Not bad for what initially was
                                           At the end of the twenty-five hours we
    we should give a gift to some                                                    a bit of a frivolous whim by two not
                                           were exhausted but very happy with
    charitable organization. It                                                      so young life loving people. A little
                                           our achievement so much so that we
    happened that at that time the                                                   imagination and a lot of dedication
                                           started planning for the next one.
    Cancer Council WA was raising                                                    and enthusiasm have brought many
    funds to build a ‘home away from       We have come a long way since that        in our community together for a very
    home’ for country based cancer         first event seven years ago. The          worthwhile cause.
    patients who had to go to Perth for    Swimthru has become an annual
    treatment. Suddenly, our event         event which we have improved and
    transformed from a frivolous idea to   fine tuned each year since. We still
    a very important challenge for us.     provide meals and entertainment,
    We were going to make a                and many people get into the spirit
    commitment to a high profile charity   and dress up in a team theme and
    for something that many members        we now have many volunteers who

                                                  NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04                                              19
              FA M I LY


                     Surviving SIDS.
                     A mother’s story
                     By Helen Radcliffe

                     Helen Radcliffe first became involved with SIDS in December 1983 when her second son Shane
                     died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, when little was known about SIDS or cot death as it
                     was commonly referred to back then. Twenty years later Helen is still involved with SIDS as
                     parent helper.

                                          Brendan was born because             2001 we lost another two babies at
                                          although we knew it wouldn’t save    9 weeks. I don’t know how I would
                                          his life it would allow us to sleep. have coped without the support I
                                          I became a parent support person     received from SIDS. After many
                                          two years later.                     tests to find out why I kept losing
                                                                               our babies it was found I have a
                                          In 1988 we moved to WA from
                                                                                                blood disorder so
                                          Sydney and I
                                          decided to have a
                                          break. SIDS had
                                                               “  Living in Mandurah
                                                                  there wasn’t a
                                                                                                with treatment I
                                                                                                again fell pregnant.
                                                                                                I don’t think I have
                                          consumed my life
                                          for five years and I
                                                                  support group so              ever been so scared
            HELEN AND HER FAMILY AT                                                             as I was during my
                 TALEIGHA'S BAPTISM       needed a rest. We       when a friend who
                                                                                                pregnancy. The only
Shane’s twin Danielle had been            had a little girl in    lost her baby around people to really
stillborn and we had felt lucky that      November 1992           the same time and             understand were
at least we still had one of them.        and were able to
                                                                  I decided to start a          other mums who
When we found Shane that morning          hire a monitor from
my husband Glen and I were in             SIDS but she had a
                                                                  coffee morning at my had been there.
                                                                                                On 26th April 2003,
shock. Things were very different         breathing problem       house and combine arriving 5 weeks
back then. I wasn’t allowed to hold
Shane because the ambulance
officers were required to take the
                                          so we required a
                                          bigger monitor from
                                                                  SIDS and SANDS.
                                          PMH. Then in January 1997 our
                                                                                          ”     early, Taleigha was
                                                                                                born healthy and is
                                                                               now 14 months old.
baby to the hospital to be declared       next baby Jayden was stillborn. We
dead as soon as possible. It was          knew from previous experience to     There have been so many changes
while the ambulance officers were         get help straight away so contacted  in the last 20 years. Since then, Red
working on Shane that the Police          SANDS and went to a meeting the      Nose Day has given SIDS a higher
Sergeant rang for someone from            following week. When I fell pregnant profile so more people know about it
SIDS. The SIDS helper arrived just        a couple of months later, again SIDS and the Safe Sleeping campaign has
as the ambulance was leaving. It          were there to offer support.         reduced the incidence of SIDS to
was good that she arrived so quickly                                           around 1 in 2000 from 2 per 100
because although she could not tell       Living in Mandurah there wasn’t a    births. The way in which families
us why Shane died she was able to         support group so when a friend who   and their babies are cared for when
reassure us it was not our fault.         lost her baby around the same time   they lose a child is mainly due to the
                                          and I decided to start a coffee      work of volunteers over the years
I didn’t become involved with SIDS        morning at my house and combine      pushing for changes and listening to
until I fell apart when my neighbor’s     SIDS and SANDS. One day I was        what the parents need.
baby died a few months later. My
                                          asked by our community midwife to
neighbor Debbie and I started going                                               In Mandurah we have coffee
                                          go with her to visit a grieving mum     mornings each month and offer
to coffee mornings which were a
                                          and once again I was back doing         support when needed. I also give safe
great help and the support I got
                                          parent support.                         sleeping talks to community groups
from other mums was invaluable
when I fell pregnant with our             In February 1999 we lost our son        when asked. I enjoy doing these talks
subsequent child. We decided to           Joshua at 18 weeks then in              as it spreads the word and hopefully
hire a monitor from SIDS after            September 2000 and in March             reduces the incidence of SIDS.

20                                               NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04
                                                                                                      FA M I LY

                                           SIDS and Safe Sleeping
                                           • Sleep baby with head uncovered            • Leaving an infant alone on an
                                           • Cigarette smoking is bad for                adult bed may be unsafe, as the
                                              babies, therefore maintain a               baby can be caught under adult
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome                  smoke-free environment before              bedding or pillows, trapped
(SIDS) or Cot Death as it has been            and after birth.                           between the wall and the
called in the past has been a concern      Co-sleeping, or sharing a bed with            mattress, fall out of bed, or be
for new parents and health care            an infant has not been found to               rolled on.
workers for many years. The cause of       increase the risk of SIDS if the
                                                                                       Bedsharing does not appear to
SIDS is still not known, and               parents are not smokers, and if the
                                                                                       increase the risk of SIDS for any of
therefore, no-one is to be blame           sleeping environment is safe. SIDS
                                                                                       the following groups:
when a baby dies in this way.              and Kids does not have a
                                                                                       1. When baby is in bed to feed and
                                           recommendation against co-
SIDS most commonly occurs in                                                              cuddle and then put back in to
                                           sleeping. However, there are some
infants between the ages of one                                                           the cot.
                                           dangerous sleeping environments.
month and one year, and peaks              In these situations the safe                2. When the baby is older than
around the age of two months. It is        alternative is to sleep baby in a cot          4 months.
more likely to happen to boys (60%)        next to the parents’ bed:                   3. If parents are non-smokers.
than girls (40%). Even though the          • There is a fifty times increased of
cause of SIDS has still not been                                                       For more information contact
                                              risk of Sudden Infant Death if an        SIDS and Kids Western Australia
found, research has found some                adult sleeps with an infant on a
important ways to reduce the risk of                                                   on (08) 9474 3417 or go to
                                              couch or sofa.
SIDS and create a safe sleeping                                              
                                           • It is dangerous for a parent who
environment for babies and young              has taken drugs, alcohol or
children:                                     sedating medication that causes
• Put baby on the back to sleep,              them to sleep heavily to take
   from birth                                 baby to bed with them.

  The Secrets of Good Sleepers
  By Caroline Radford RN, RM, CHN, B Nsg
  Having sleepless nights for weeks, months and                 faster and some parents find keeping their eyes closed
  sometimes years can be devastating. Approximately             even reduces the number of night feeds.
  45-55% of Australian babies are still waking through
                                                                Another helpful strategy is to develop a night and day
  the night in the second year of life. With sleepless
                                                                rhythm for sleep by settling your child to sleep in a
  families in mind “The Secrets of Good Sleepers” has
                                                                dimmed (but not dark) place through the day and
  been written, by the staff of Ngala, as a guide for
                                                                keeping the environment dark in their sleeping place at
  parents to help improve sleep for children aged
                                                                night. The trick at night is to avoid artificial, especially
  0-5 years.
                                                                overhead lights. If you need some lighting near your
  The “Secrets of Good Sleepers” provides information           baby/child at night, try a toilet or hallway light and keep
  about how children sleep, why sleep problems occur            the room they are asleep in as dark as possible.
  and how to make gentle changes to help improve
                                                                The “Secrets of Good Sleepers” is available for sale
  sleep for families. Information in the “The Secrets of
                                                                from Ngala at $16.50 plus postage. For more
  Good Sleepers” helps parents to understand how their
                                                                information visit our website or
  child communicates through crying, how to recognise
                                                                ring (08) 9368 9370.
  tired signs and tired crying and respond appropriately.

  Tips and strategies through the book are designed to
  be user friendly! For example, keeping your eyes closed
  through those night feeds helps to reduce stimulation
  to your child. This will help your child to return to sleep

                                                   NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04                                                      21
              FA M I LY

                                                                                                              MIRI AND ROBBIE

                     Heart and Seoul
                          – An Adoption Story
                          By Katie Stewart

                          In October 1999, I did something
                          I had never in my wildest dreams
                          thought that I would do. With my
                          husband Peter and six-year-old son
                          Michael, I boarded a plane bound
                          for South Korea. I did so with
                          great excitement, for it was there
                          that we would finally meet our
                          second son, aged six months. Four
                          years later I would do the same
                          again to bring home a four-month-
                          old daughter.

Peter and I always wanted children. After years of
frustration we were blessed with Michael. After three
more years, however, it was obvious that there would be
no more and in 1997 we began to look into adoption.

Adoption is not for the faint-hearted. With the obvious
need to ensure that couples who want to adopt are
committed and capable, the adoption process is set up
like a series of hurdles over which applicants must jump.      was to our advantage as Head Office hired a private
For those in the country some of these hurdles seem just       assessor to drive from Perth for the regulation number
that little bit higher due to distance and isolation.          of visits. However, the timing of both these
Before we could apply to adopt we had to undergo a             assessments was definitely scheduled by those with no
series of education seminars. To make it fair,                 idea of country timetables, the first falling in the middle
attendance at these for applicants from the country is         of harvest, the second just as the first rains started.
not compulsory. Instead the information can be sent by         After what seemed a lifetime the wonderful day of
mail or a teleconference can be set up. Living in              allocation finally arrived. This was when living in the
Northam, only 100 km from the Perth, we decided to             country really became a hassle. There in Head Office a
attend anyway and we were glad we had. It gave us an           social worker was holding a photo of our child. Here
insight into how many others had been through the              was I shaking on the end of the phone wishing I could
same heartache as us. It also allowed us to make new           somehow just reach out and take it. Instead I had to
friends and to learn about the support groups available        wait until at least the next day. In the meantime I had
to those adopting, namely Adoption Support for                 to make sure that we had gathered up all the
Families and Children (ASFC) and Adoptions                     documentation we needed, written a letter of
International WA. Both of these groups are run by              acceptance and generally calmed down, so that I
volunteers and have members who support each other             would only need to make one trip to Perth.
throughout the state. Without this support we would
probably not have made it through.                             No amount of organisation, however, could stop our
                                                               son’s immigration papers going missing somewhere
After the education seminars came the assessment.              between Perth and Canberra meaning another trip to
For our first adoption we were lucky that a qualified          Perth to resubmit them. I am glad to say that the rules
social worker had been seconded to the Northam                 have now changed so that this can no longer happen,
office at just the right time. When we wanted to be            and a lot of the paperwork is now available over the
assessed for a second adoption, however, cost cutting          Internet so that it can be filled out earlier. Our daughter’s
had left the office understaffed and adoption was a            adoption, four years later, was a lot less stressful.
very low priority. Again living only 100 km from Perth

22                                                 NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04
                                                                                                   FA M I LY


                       “Ifriends Iknowsafelymorethat hisKorea than most
                           think can
                                       a lot

                          other five-year-olds, simply because Robbie has
                          told them everything he knows for ‘news’.
We had chosen to adopt from South Korea because we              Maybe the biggest drawback to adopting in the country
wanted to adopt a child as young as possible. The South         is the difficulty in maintaining any cultural continuity.
Korean programme not only involves children under 12            Although Northam has a growing Asian population,
months but they also foster all their babies so that they       I have not, as yet, met any who are Korean. Of course
have been given the best possible love and care before          there are always videos, computer programmes and the
adoption. Both our children came to us well nourished           Internet, but none of these are as good as learning
and well loved.                                                 about Korean culture and customs first hand. I would
                                                                like us all to be able to learn Korean so that when we go
Before we adopted our daughter Miri, I read a book in
                                                                back for another visit we can communicate a little.
which it was claimed that people in the country should
                                                                I would like to learn to cook Korean dishes. I would love
not be allowed to adopt overseas as racism was too
                                                                for Robbie and Miri to learn Tae Kwon Do or Korean
much of an issue in rural areas. Obviously I didn’t agree
                                                                Dancing. All these things will involve trips to Perth,
with this or we would not have adopted again.
                                                                which will have to wait until they are both older.
Introducing Asian children into our mainly Caucasian
country town has, of course, not gone unnoticed. People         Building our family has been quite an adventure, an
have been fascinated by these beautiful children and            adventure that continues every day. I enjoy watching my
are not shy about asking sometimes-awkward questions            three beautiful children grow and as far as I am
about their backgrounds. We have learned to give a              concerned there is no better place for them to do that
short, polite answer then change the subject. But, apart        than in the country.
from a few thoughtless remarks based on stereotypes,
                                                                For further information on adoption:
race has not been a major issue.
                                                                Department of Community Development
As an acquaintance who grew up with her two Korean              ph. (08)9222 2555 or 1800 622258 (freecall)
sisters in a small country town pointed out to me, racism
stems from fear of the unknown. In the country
everybody knows everybody, so there is very little that is      Adoption Support for Families & Children
unknown. Robbie is very proud of where he comes                 ph. (08)9381 2221
from, especially since our trip back to Korea last year to
pick up his little sister. I think I can safely say that his
pre-primary friends know a lot more about Korea than            Adoptions International WA
most other five-year-olds, simply because Robbie has            ph. (08)9328 2555
told them everything he knows for ‘news’. This pride will,
I hope, help him to counter any racist remarks or
behaviour he may encounter in the future.

                                                   NETWORK NEWS SUMMER 04                                             23
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          My view                                                Please send prints to:
                                                                 Network News
          The Starlight Hotel looking over the plains of Ajana   RRR Network
          Photo sent in by: Fleur Porter                         PO Box 311, Wagin, WA 6315.

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