Focus to bring the community together

11 Aug, 2018 04:00 AM
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 Dimity McMorran works five days a week at the Ongerup and Gnowangerup Community Resource Centres.
Dimity McMorran works five days a week at the Ongerup and Gnowangerup Community Resource Centres.

WITH a passion for community and a love for the country, 23-year-old Dimity McMorran truly classifies as a young gun.

Growing up in Dowerin, Dimity moved to Perth with her parents when she was eight.

Living in Perth until she was 16 and attending Carine Senior High School, her family made the move to Albany before she started year 12.

In 2010, Dimity graduated from Albany Senior High School where she found it difficult to start a new school with only one year left.

“When I finished year 12 I started working at the CBH port in Albany,” Dimity said.

“I really enjoyed CBH and the grain handling side of things.”

Over harvest Dimity managed to get 13 weeks of work at the port.

After her harvest stint she stayed with the co-operative, doing ship sampling which meant she sampled the grain before it went onto the ships to guarantee the right export specifications.

Then Dimity found herself in Perth where she met boyfriend Harry Creagh.

Harry and his father own the local one-stop-shop in Ongerup where locals buy their farm supplies, chemicals, groceries and alcohol.

“When I moved back to Albany I worked at CSBP in Albany for a year doing customer service in the office,” she said.

“After that I didn’t know what to do and Harry was out in Ongerup which isn’t exactly close to Albany.”

To be closer to Harry, Dimity moved to Ongerup where she managed to pick up some casual bar work and farm work.

In between a harvest season Dimity, who didn’t have much direction to where her life was heading, went and worked on a cattle station in the Pilbara.

“I wasn’t up there very long,” she said.

“I really didn’t like it up there but it taught me a few things about life.

“It also taught me about stock handling and the cattle up there are crazy.”

After returning to Ongerup, Dimity found herself again working on farms and behind the bar.

In November last year she was offered a job at the Gnowangerup and Ongerup Community Resource Centres.

“I had a trip booked to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam a month after I got the job,” she said.

“So I went on my trip where I was volunteering with the elephants in Thailand and I also volunteered in Cambodia in a really small village where we built a house for a family.”

When Dimity returned to WA she started her job and quickly found a home in the local community.

This year marked the start to a new career and Dimity also found herself committing to positions outside of work.

“I joined the committee for the Ongerup Community Development Group and the sporting complex in Ongerup,” she said.

“Ongerup doesn’t have a team anymore so I have been playing netball at Boxwood for the past couple of years.

“I don’t play anymore but I am running the kitchen down there and I do all the ordering and food for the home games.”

Dimity has always wanted to improve the community’s sense of belonging, especially given the trend of small towns getting smaller.

“My big aim this year is to try to bring everyone together,” she said.

With this mission in mind it’s no wonder Dimity jumped at the idea of starting a Country Women’s Association (CWA) for Gnowangerup, Borden and Ongerup.

All three towns fall under the shire of Gnowangerup and Dimity said Ongerup and Borden felt they had been forgotten because Gnowangerup was the bigger centre and the shire office was situated there.

“All the towns are getting smaller and everyone has to start coming together and working together,” she said.

“So we talked about starting the CWA to bring all the girls together and do something to reunify all the towns.”

At the first expression of interest meeting 25 women, with a few from each town, attended.

“A lot of the girls who attended the meeting don’t play sport so they don’t feel like they are a part of something,” she said.

Dimity said the women also struggled with isolation, especially at seeding or harvest when their partners were always busy.

Every CWA has a motto for the branch, CWA Stirlings motto is “the road to a friends house is never long”.

Dimity said the CWA branch would be “what we make it”.

“We want to make it more about educating ourselves and making friendships,’’ she said.

“We want to include women of any age, but there is a stigma around the CWA being for older women.”

Dimity hopes her new role as the CWA Stirlings president can focus on togetherness.

“We are all out here with the same issues,” she said.

“We all feel that isolation.”

This September the Stirlings CWA plans to have a garden lunch where the speakers will be talking about isolation during harvest and addressing mental health issues.

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