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Roebourne Local in the Top Three for the 2018 WA Volunteer Awards

Posted 23 May 2018

Roebourne’s own Beth Smith is in the top three for the WA Volunteer awards and was nominated because of her passion and love for the Roebourne community.

Beth has lived and worked in the Pilbara for 40 years and has volunteered for numerous events and projects over that time.

Beth and her husband established the Mingullatharndo Community (5 mile), a drug, alcohol and violence-free community. She runs children to school and teaches Bible study at the Pilbara Aboriginal Church, and also helped to set up The Mirnumarghli Mia (Roebourne Tafe).

Ngaarda Media recently spoke with Beth about her achievements and her role in helping to establish the Graham Polly Farmer Foundation in Karratha during the 90s.

“At the time there was a lot of concern that a lot of our kids were not going to high school, or they were starting high school and dropping out, so the Gumala Mirnuwarni program was brought together. I came on as a mentor in 1997,” she said.

“Results in those days were fantastic; there was a big difference. People like Clinton Walker, Joleen Hicks, my own daughter Shanara and Sheralee Walker – they were all the early students and most of them have done really well for themselves.”

Beth Smith came up with the idea to have a ‘Healing Out on Country’ program in conjunction with Roebourne Act-Belong-Commit to create a healing environment for families who have been touched by suicide.

“It’s just so important. We could all do more of that – just spend quality time with your family. That’s where I think healing out on country is so great – that you’re away from the pressures and all the stuff that goes with it and you can just sit down and enjoy each other.”

Mrs Smith says it’s a great feeling to be a volunteer. She will be travelling to Perth this week to attend the National Volunteer Week Gala Awards Presentation.

“I often used to say if I ever stop loving what I’m doing, please stop me. You need to do it with your whole heart. If you’re doing it because you feel you have to do it, that’s not a good reason.”

You can listen to the full interview with Beth by Ngaarda Media here.