‘Rolling up your sleeves and getting it done’ appears to be the tagline for a multitude of towns throughout the South West.
As part of the job, we look at the highs and lows – big and small – in small-town life.
Some are out in the open, many are hidden under the surface for us to uncover.
Sure, our work isn’t always popular. Sure, we don’t always get it right. But we love doing it and grow to love where we are stationed.
Collie community organisations live and die on the kindness of strangers and loyalty of friends.
Collie’s Country Women’s Association gathers every month, not just to eat tasty treats and drink tea but talk about the good and bad in their lives.
Without this, many people may feel alone (and be left alone) for too long.
They welcome members and guests with open arms, pitching in to fund their resources and donate to community organisations around town.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have the Collie Heritage and Menshed Group inc.
Three times per week, retirees and tough gents around town come together and work on some truly unique projects.
Men, young and old, fix-up their own carpentry projects, restorations etc. Others take on tasks delegated by people around town (benches for the Karak (Red Tail) trail, honour boards for the Collie Police Station etc.).
Collie’s helping-hand persona extends to politics, with Member for Collie-Preston Mick Murray fittingly chosen as Volunteering Minister for the state.
Of course, plenty of people in plenty of places volunteer for community organisations. The ‘many fingers in many pies’ saying applies to a lot of people in the South West.
It is not all about getting the job done, it is also about people pulling other people out of a funk; helping others turn a frown upside down; giving people hope when the news seems dour and depressing.
Given shaky times in politics, industry, sport etc., volunteering and community outreach reminds us of how a hand is not a weapon, it is a tool used to assist in every situation.
It is sometimes difficult to stay invigorated and keep going, but small town events prove communities are made up of more than one human being.