By Anne Coffey
After 20 plus years of unwavering community support long term members and current staff of Western Plains Regional Development gathered at WPRD on Tuesday to celebrate and thank Heather Blackley for her dedication and community service.
Anne Coffey a founding member opened proceedings by thanking everyone for attending.
“I first met Heather when she came to run the Work for the Dole Program in about 2001 when WPRD first started in the old Municipal building, now the Condobolin Museum.” Anne said.
“Heather was employed for two days and as usual worked Four. She looked after her clients, picked them up, looked after the staff, took people to training in her own time. If someone was ill, it was Heather who turned up to make sure they were fed and took them to appointment. She babysat their kids and generally looked after everyone. It is Heather people turn to for an event.
She has dedicated years to this community, The Community Centre, Lachlan Arts Council, Family Support, The West Women Weaving Project, the Condobolin Tattoo, to name just a few. In short, she was paid for 35 hours and worked 50. I can’t think of anyone who deserves more thanks.”
Other speakers thanking Heather for her dedicated service were Tony Broadly, Des Manwaring OAM and Kathy Parnaby current Chairperson of WPRD.
Des noted the personal sacrifice that Heather has made to service the community and thanked her for her dedication.
Kathy Parnaby also thanked Heather and noted “When they made Heather, they threw away the mold.”
Heather replied thanking people for their support. “I am proud of our achievements, The DV film Little Towns Big Voices which is still used by the police for their training. The people we found employment for through the Work for the Dole program. They were treated with dignity and respect.”
Everyone enjoyed a cuppa and nibbles before it was back to business.