Posted on November 26 2017
THINGS ARE BETTER THAN YOU THINK
The following piece is by Australia Day Ambassador Carole Whitelock about her experiences at the 2016 Australia Day event at the City of West Torrens
Do you ever feel so thoroughly saturated by bad news – acts or threats of terrorism; tax and welfare fraud; superannuation worries; rising costs and charges; violent crime; over-crowded hospitals; reports of child abuse and cruelty to animals, that you begin to despair of humanity? Well, I have some good news for you. Things are better than you think.
As an Australia Day Ambassador I went to a West Torrens Council Australia Day Awards and Citizenship ceremony at the Thebarton Community Centre. By the time the event was over, I felt a wonderful sense of renewal of hope and belief in people. These are not names that you’ll read about in the so-called “celebrity” magazines where “celebrity” status seems to be attained by displaying your bottom, pinching someone else’s partner, admitting to a drug habit, or joining the queue to marry James Packer.
Let me tell you about some real people doing those things that build a solid community – a sense of which we often feel is lost. Lisa Hester devotes her life to facilitating sporting opportunities for young people with intellectual disabilities at a local and national level. (Citizen of the Year). James Harvey (remember the name, a very dynamic young man, destined for great things) is a Senior Scout, Venturer, mentor to younger boys and participant in a Robotics competition at Flinders University.(Young Citizen of the Year). Fraser Bell has devoted 27 years of his life to the vital S.A. Sea Rescue Squadron. (Anniversary Medal). Georgina Sanderson, a trainee teacher is a Queen’s Guide. (Civic Award). Much loved Vili Milisits, not only spreads happiness through his delicious pies, but employs 300 people, helps and advises new migrants and is a true philanthropist, supporting a host of causes. (West Torrens Business Award).
But wait, there’s more, - people volunteering in libraries, churches, Neighbourhood Watch and visiting frail elderly people in residential care. This was all brought together by Danny Broderick and his team, - he’s a Community Services Manager who really cares for and loves his community, and it shows.
The final cheering touch for me, when we read so often about the jaw-dropping amounts of money spent by local government in salaries and expenses, was Mayor John Trainer’s thrifty common sense. The previous ( VERY costly) Mayoral robes became “lost” during the tenure of a previous Mayor, so Mr. Trainer spent a couple of hundred dollars on a plain blue academic gown and had some braid trim sewn on to it. That’s the kind of attitude local government, and certainly some of our State and Federal politicians could learn a lot from.
You can multiply the number of good people quietly achieving great things like those above, all across our State and our Country. So cheer up chums – things really ARE better than you think!