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New project records people and their stories

A story worth telling. South Isis resident Doreen Cole (centre) was interviewed this week by Council staff members Steffi Bates (right) and local photographer Beck Blakemore. Doreen is a participant in a Council community project, “Our People, Our Stories”.

The saying “everyone has a story to tell” has inspired Council to reach out across the region to discover and record the interesting and diverse paths many of our residents have taken in life.

“Our People, Our Stories” will draw together a rich tapestry of articles that will describe in words and images the stories of at least 50 characters of the Bundaberg Region.

One of the first interviews took place this week in the amazing garden of South Isis resident Doreen Cole.

Doreen, now in her early 80s, has spent more than 40 years building an expansive garden on her property near Childers.

Doreen Cole has invested decades into establishing a broad expanse of gardens at South Isis near Childers.
Doreen Cole has invested decades into establishing a broad expanse of gardens at South Isis near Childers.

Community development officer Steffi Bates said Doreen’s was an amazing story and dovetailed perfectly with the “Our People, Our Stories” concept.

“Not only has Doreen enjoyed a lifelong passion growing plants and creating beautiful spaces around her home but she has a keen knowledge of local history, some of which she shared in a book she wrote on Buxton,” she said.

“Visiting Doreen and Ray Cole’s property has really inspired me to ensure we gather together stories that would otherwise remain untold.”

Steffi said Doreen had an amazing ability with plants, but it was astounding that her love of her garden was the motivation behind the seemingly boundless energy she injected into maintaining the garden on a daily basis.

“I suppose that when you love what you are doing it never really seems like work,” said Steffi.

Council’s community services spokesperson Cr Tracey McPhee said staff will collate individual stories from all backgrounds and share them through a series of postcards.

“Stories that are inter-generational, ethnically diverse, low and high socio-economic, business and community based, stories that canvass the undertaking of people with all-abilities – they are the stories we wish to gather,” she said.

“The goal is to capture the unique stories of our lesser-known residents, so we can share a true picture of our region.

“Each interview will result in a postcard which provides a snapshot of the subject in both words and images. The final body of work will be available for several possible avenues of display.”

“Our People, Our Stories” is a year-long project to bring all sectors of the community together and has been granted funding from the Department of Communities.