An open letter from our CRCs

Wandering CRC is one of more than 100 CRCs who's funding will be cut as of July 2019.
Wandering CRC is one of more than 100 CRCs who's funding will be cut as of July 2019.

A personal response to CRC funding cuts

After our Community Consultation Evening in Wandering on the 14th of May it occurred to me what a wide variety of services and age groups that our CRC caters for.

Twenty years ago when the CRC (formerly Telecentre) was established in Wandering, I opened my first email account on one of the Centre’s shared computers.

We did not yet have a home computer and I wanted to learn more.

Computers were hugely expensive at the time and internet on farms was still in early stages of development.

I knew that a computer would be a beneficial step in progressing our farm business by making us more efficient both with our planning and book keeping.

This time period also coincided with the introduction of the GST and businesses were now obligated to accurately record all of our GST related income and expenditure for the ATO.

The CRC offered various computer courses such as Excel workshops, MYOB workshops and Agrimaster workshops which improved my skills and enabled me to take on this role in our farming operation.

Eventually in time, we were able to purchase our own computer equipment and when internet became more readily available, we were able to do this through our home office.

As we all modernized into a more digital society, the CRC evolved and offered a variety of different services which have been valuable to our community such as vehicle licensing, Centrelink access point, Medicare access point, Library Services, business workshops, health classes, fitness classes, social media courses, craft sessions etc.

I particularly enjoyed the yoga classes and scrapbooking sessions.

Also, of enormous value to the community was the First Aid course organized by the CRC last year.

Now we have more citizens that can assist in an emergency situation.

I noticed that in attendance at the First Aid course were local farmers, business owners, office staff, school staff, mothers, fathers and volunteers including several Volunteer Fire Brigade Officers.

Being so far from emergency services, this is knowledge that could assist in saving a person’s life as it can take over 45-60 minutes (sometimes longer) for help to arrive to Wandering.

With three children, I have been actively involved in the community volunteering for various roles including Wandering Playgroup President and Wandering P&C Vice President and Secretary.

We have used the CRC building as a venue for fundraising events, meetings, as well as utilized the CRC office equipment to create flyers etc. and other promotional advertising for events.

Each community group has different needs but the CRC is versatile in the ways in which they can help.

For my children, the CRC holds school holiday workshops, incursions and excursions to name a few.

This provides an opportunity for our isolated children to connect with their peers for things such as movie nights and author visits.

My children not only have a brilliant time but they also get to go places such as a bus trip to the city.  

Throughout the years I have watched the CRC grow and adapt with the times and I am certain if given the opportunity, it will continue to do so.

It is such a ridiculous notion to comprehend that after all of that investment, our current Premier, Hon Mark McGowan MLA, together with our Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food, Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLA, are going to reduce the funding which will inevitably have a negative impact on the viability of the CRC and the services it provides.

Our CRC is a success story.