Welcome to our second “Take 10″ feature, this time featuring the inspirational Karin Day, from Westonia, who is not only a mum and a farmer but also an advocate for the regional development and women in agriculture!
I am…Karin Day. Together with my husband Rohan we farm “Woodlea”, 45km east of Merredin in the Shire of Westonia. I am Mum to Will, Caitlin and Harry. I am the Deputy Shire President of the Shire of Westonia, Board member of Agriculture Women – Wheatbelt East (AWWE) and the Deputy Chair of the Wheatbelt Development Commission.
I spend my days…mostly on the farm. My main area of work is running the office side of our business, though sheep work and the occasional tractor driving stint can get me out in the paddock. Kids school and after school activities keep me busy and also travelling to/fro Perth boarding school. I do a lot of reading, research and attend plenty of meetings but I enjoy travelling around the Wheatbelt, meeting new people and learning new ideas. Weekends in summer I enjoy playing tennis. In winter, after coaching my daughter’s netball team, I am trying to learn the hardest game in the world – golf!
Home is…with my beautiful family in our a fifty year old renovated farmhouse, a big green lawn, vegie patch, cats, dogs, pet lambs, and hopefully with some rain soon, surrounded by lush green wheat paddocks.
I have lived in the Wheatbelt…for almost twenty years. I was born in Boddington, raised on my parents farm, attended Narrogin SHS boarding for five years, and then completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at UWA. After working in Perth, Katanning and then Merredin in agricultural jobs, I switched to working in the area of regional development with the Wheatbelt Development Commission after I got married.
My favourite thing about the Wheatbelt is…the proactive, passionate, committed people who live here who strive to make the region a better and more fun place for all.
A big issue facing the Wheatbelt is…the burnout of our volunteers. Volunteering rates in the Wheatbelt are the highest in the State. So many people volunteer their time and skills to run social and sporting clubs, organisations, workshops and community services like ambulance, fire & emergency etc. The Wheatbelt’s aging population is likely to influence the levels of volunteering in the future.
One thing I find really hard about living in the Wheatbelt is…the lack of mobile phone coverage, internet accessibility & capacity throughout the region. The Wheatbelt Development Commission has been working with the State Government to highlight this issue and $45 million has been allocated recently for 85 more towers throughout the State to service these coverage blackspots. Unfortunately there will still be gaps and more funding is required.
Something not many people know about the Wheatbelt is… it is the second most visited region after the South West in Western Australia. You have heard about the Pinnacles and Wave Rock attractions, what about Westonia…. where we recently opened our Hood-Penn Museum which is like no other – it even has a mine tunnel to explore.
I am passionate about…lots of things. Currently I am working with an amazing talented group of women called Agricultural Women – Wheatbelt East (AWWE) . AWWE provides a platform for women to interact and network with others at various events and workshops providing professional development opportunities for Wheatbelt women. We hope people leave AWWE events better informed, inspired, motivated and with the knowledge that we are working together to improve our rural communities and farm businesses.
In twenty years time, I see myself…happy on the farm and our kids all educated and pursuing their careers. I would like to see more local care options for our seniors. It is heartbreaking to see family members having go to the
city or 100’s of kilometres away for care services. An exciting project involving eleven Shires is “CEACA” – Central East Aged Care Alliance. Its aim is to provide clusters of housing for aging residents to allow better servicing of their care needs for seniors to be able to “age in place” – either in their house, or at least, in their community.
A big thanks to Karin for taking the time to answer a few questions and share her thoughts with Wheatbelt Local.
Stay tuned for upcoming instalments of “Take 10”, when we chat with the Hon Mia Davies and other inspiring Wheatbelt residents! If you would like to be featured, or know someone who should be, send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org