by Narelle King, Desert Blue Connect Rural Services Co-ordinator (Morawa)

It has been a busy month in the North Midlands district with many community activities.  In my role as rural services co-ordinator I have been out and about engaging with local communities to offer health, wellbeing, and prevention education and events.

Mental health week

All the North Midland’s towns worked collaboratively on Mental Health Week activities this year and encouraged the community to get involved in these events.  It was fantastic to see such great participation.  This year’s theme was “Mental health starts where we live, learn, work and play”.

Morawa held a community colouring event that was open throughout the week at the local Community Resource Centre. The newly furbished Youth Focus counselling room was also officially opened. People of all ages came and joined in both of these events, and to check out the new funky counselling room!

Harvest Festival

The Act-Belong-Commit Harvest Festival, a North Midlands Project was well worth attending over a weekend in Carnamah, Morawa and Mingenew.  There were activities such as live painting, spinning and basket-making, twilight markets and amazing music to keep the crowds entertained. It’s wonderful to see the community gather together before the busy harvest begins. This farming season has been harsh for many farmers, with late opening rains and very little follow up rain through the growing season.  Community gatherings give an opportunity to escape the stress of farming and speak to others who are in the same position.  It’s also a great opportunity to check on a mate and offer a compassionate ear.

Prevent workshop – Alcohol and Sexual Consent

I was privileged to do my first specialised sexual assault education program with Sarah from the main office in Geraldton, delivering to Year 12 students at the Morawa Agricultural College.  As these students are nearing graduation, it was an opportune time to present the “Alcohol and Sexual Consent” program, particularly before schoolies week celebrations.  All the students engaged in activities and were rewarded with a special bag of tips and resources upon completion. Sarah, Narelle and all the team from Desert Blue Connect would like to wish the graduates all the very best for their futures. We look forward to working with staff and students at Morawa Agricultural College in 2020 and thank them for inviting us to deliver specialist sexual assault education.

Coorow On Speaking Terms

Coorow Community Resource Centre hosted their last “On Speaking Terms” event for the year with guest speaker Karl O’Callaghan, former Police Commissioner for Western Australia.  He gave a candid talk about his vast experiences including time in the police force including the lead up to his role as Police Commissioner.  He also touched on personal matters such as dealing with his eldest son’s methamphetamine addiction. It was interesting to hear how he dealt with pressures in life, including forming his own rock band in 2005 where he still performs regularly at charity events.

Coorow On Speaking Terms are events that aim to promote positive mental health and services available throughout the Midwest. I attended this event with Rachel (Rural Counsellor) and gave a short presentation on Desert Blue Connects services and enjoyed connecting with the crowd throughout the night.

Children’s Week Play Day

Children’s Week is a national annual event that celebrates children and their rights.  I attended the Children’s Week Play Day at the Morawa Recreation Centre.  It was a great success with families coming from various surrounding towns including Perenjori, Three Springs and Mingenew.

Family support organisations attended the day to inform parents of local services. There were special guests to entertain the children including the talented face painting fairies and Lizzy the lizard who put the children through their paces teaching them road safety.   Local Sergeant Paul Featherstone from WA Police came to visit the children for a “show and tell” of his handy police kit and gave the children a chance to sound the siren and sit in the back of the police car.

If you want support or education in your community in health, wellbeing, prevention of family violence or sexual assault, child safety or counselling services, please send me an email at

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