Western Plains blog: Part 2 – Collie

Mar 12, 2019 | Blog Articles

Enjoy the second instalment of Petrea and Keri’s Out West trip facilitating workshops for rural communities and a story of the amazing relationship between land, community, commitment and determination to push through.

The road from Nyngan to Collie took us down to Nevertire, past a massive new solar farm, up to Warren and east to Collie. Apparently, the name Nevertire was given because the plain was so big that it went on and on and never tired. Driving the 120 kms through dry paddocks and swirls of dust, it made perfect sense!

I thought for the umpteenth time, how privileged we are to live in such an amazingly beautiful, diverse, and certainly challenging, country where, on the horizon, the sky reaches down to touch the parched earth and reflects the colours of the ground back up into the clouds.

The workshop at Collie was at the Soldier’s Memorial Hall and was built by the Country Women’s Association and the RSSC in 1930. We set up in the hall and got the fans going. The kitchen was a hive of activity as CWA members including the President, Margaret and members Helen, Judy and Claire prepared trays of sandwiches and homemade cakes. There’s something particularly delicious about a CWA cake!

Margaret’s family arrived in the local area in 1880. Margaret’s father was in the police force, so the family travelled every two years around country areas. Margaret went away teaching but returned to Collie and, as she said, “married the neighbour”. They had two children who in turn had two children and all but one live locally.


Andrew is Claire’s son. He farms 4,500 acres and is a fourth-generation farmer of wheat and barley. There wasn’t a crop in 2018 and although it was dry in 2017, they were still able to gather seed. Their 2016 crop was washed out by rain.

Andrew’s story of drought is common to local farmers although everyone’s story is different. Andrew and his wife have three children under 5 years old. Their life would certainly present challenges, but I could feel the amazing relationship between the land and the community and a commitment and quiet determination to push through.


A feeling of connection is the 4th ‘C’ in Quest for Life’s keys to finding resilience and peace of mind. It’s connection to our own innate self; it’s having friends, mates, people that we can be real with. For some it’s having connection to land, to country, to the seasons, to the cycles of nature, to the cosmos. It’s having our sense of place and belonging in the world so that we are not disconnected from ourselves or from other people, or from nature.

Over the week-long trip to Nyngan, Trangie, Collie and Coonamble in February 2019 facilitating Your Life Matters workshops for rural communities, Petrea and Keri heard many stories like this. Petrea spoke about ‘The Four Cs to Peace of Mind’ and tools and strategies to strengthen resilience, emotional intelligence and live well in challenging circumstances.

The Four Cs are

  1. Control
  2. Commitment to Living
  3. Challenge
  4. Connection

Feedback from workshop participants has been terrific –

“Refreshing, breathtaking, positive and helpful”, “So much common sense” “Brilliant – offered coping mechanisms”.

If you would like to find out more about our Your Life Matters workshop to support and inspire communities and organisations dealing with trauma, or our 1-day workshops and residential programs to educate, empower and encourage people living with the challenges of illness, disillusionment, grief, trauma, anxiety or depression, please visit our website:

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Fees effective 1 July 2023.

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Through generous grants, donations and fundraising, additional subsidies and financial help is available for a range of circumstances and anyone experiencing financial stress will be considered. We review each case individually and we do not means test. All applications are conducted via phone with a friendly member of the Programs intake team.


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