Humans of the Wheatbelt - Lisa Wiltshire

Humans of the Wheatbelt is an initiative by the Wheatbelt Health Network.

Humans of the Wheatbelt is an initiative by the Wheatbelt Health Network.

I live in Bakers Hill in the Wheatbelt. We were visiting my parents in Bakers Hill and fell in love with the place. I love the people and community - everyone pitches in to help. Everyone knows everyone. We had an accident in my parents backyard three years ago when a tree dropped its branch onto the car while we were sitting in it. It totally destroyed the car. John saved my life. It still takes my breathe away. All the neighbours banded together to help us out. That is community! I was born with Spina Bifida. I've had a great life so far.I was born in Brisbane and moved to Port Hedland when I was three. My father was in the mining industry. I grew up there with my two brothers who now live in Melbourne and Rockingham. My parents left there in 2001 and bought a place in Bakers Hill.I met my husband John in Port Hedland. John took a redundancy. We built a house and moved to Bakers Hill in 2003. Then in 2005 John and I got married.One of the highlights of my life was meeting Prince Charles. I was living in Port Hedland and I was 10. I was a part of Brownies. I also met Jeff St John who was a singer in the 60's - he actually had Spina Bifida too. I was only 12 - but got to attend a nightclub to see him perform. He performed in a wheel-chair and became an active educator for people with disabilities. In 2000 he sang the anthem at the Paralympics in Sydney.I used to work at the TAFE in Port Hedland as Receptionist, Records Officer and Library Aide. I really enjoyed my first real job as it was hard to get jobs for people in wheelchairs.

I am currently most excited about the local 'Pink up Northam' movement. Its about raising money and awareness for breast cancer. I am planning to dye my hair pink. We try to go out to all the local community events.

One of the funniest moment was when I fell out of the car. I got in and John went around to put the chair in the boot. I lent over a close the door and I kept going. John got in and I wasn't there!I enjoy volunteering for the Bakers Hill fire brigade as the Secretary/Treasurer. I enjoy reading, going to the Bakers Hill Taven and doing family research (genealogy). I used to volunteer for a Dingo club and educating people about them. The best moment of my life apart from meeting my husband was when I got to go in a glider through a company called SoarAbility at the Cunderdin Airfield in Cunderdin. He has adapted his glider for people in wheelchairs. Another highlight was when my mum won a competition for me to do indoor sky diving. Another amazing experience was when a friend Tania entered me into the City to Surf and I did 12km in a wheelchair. It was hard, it was emotional and I cried at the end. John helped me on the up the hill runs but I did 90% of it all by myself. A lot of people said I couldn't do it. I had had no training or preparation. I just entered. In the last 5km I had this police officer supporting me and I still don't know his name. It was the most amazing moment that I actually did something I thought I couldn't do. My chosen charity was Lifeline and the Bakers Hill Tavern helped me raise money to donate.

The worst moment of my life was losing my best friend to suicide at 23. He was 21. There were no signs at the time but looking back on it now, there were. I don't think you ever get over it. You just move forward.In 2014 I was diagnosed with depression, I didn't think anything was wrong but I was angry all the time and reclusive, not wanting to do anything. I was encouraged by friends to talk to someone and I'm glad I did. Not long after I was introduced to network marketing by my best friend Yvette and with that came personal development. It has helped me a lot. Mental Health is so important.

I would have to say that John is the most influential person in my life. He encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and changes my cant's into cans . He means the world to me.

My most defining moment was when I had to speak for myself in court as I couldn't afford a lawyer. This is where I learnt that I have a voice and shouldn't be afraid to use it.

My advice would be - don't look for a job, look for opportunities. You don't have to be tied to a 9 to 5 job. You can do anything in life. Follow your dreams. There is no such thing as can't.

Human - Lisa Wiltshire

Interviewer & Photographer - Paula Whittington