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Dereel People – Rick Olsson

rick_olsson1. How long have you lived in the area?

About 3 or 4 years, we were looking for about 20 acres for a reasonable price.  It is centrally located for my work with surrounding shires.

2. What’s great about living here?
The quietness.  It’s good for gold hunting and hunting rabbits.  I like the people that we have met here.  When a crisis happens people step up, like in the 2013 Easter fire.  I was helping out with animals, returning any that were found alive, dealing with wildlife and putting them down when they couldn’t be saved.  We saved about 50 joeys that had been orphaned.

3. What do you feel passionate about?
I love the bush, I feel more at home there than in the town.  You might go the same way and there is always something different to see.  One of my biggest hates is littering out in the bush, seeing the natural beauty spoilt.

4. What do you find joy in doing?

Panning, hunting for gold.  I enjoy driving around the Enfield state forest.  Also playing with computers, I used to build them so know my way around them.

5. What is your current pet project?

I’m working on modifying the sluice – redesigning it so that I can use it either at home or out in the field.

6. What community groups are you involved in and why?

None at moment, work commitments take up my time.  I help out when it’s needed and when I can, like working on the BBQ at the Spring Festival.

7. Tell us about your best community experience.

That would have been during the 2013 fires, everyone from the community came in, people just put up their hands to take charge in looking after food, clothing, stock feed, animals.  And then in the aftermath in helping out with fencing etc.

8. How could you see more of this happening in Dereel?

I would like to see different people putting their hands up, not always the same people.  Everyone has their own circumstances, and different reasons for getting involved.

9. Describe a future vision of Dereel that you would like to see.

It would be good to see at least one shop, maybe a service centre.  A regular market would be great, a real farmers market with local produce that we could gradually build up.  There are a range of different producers around both commercial & small scale.  It would be good to see more community spirit, and more interaction between the various community groups.

10. What would we do as a first step to realise that dream?

Getting everyone on the same page.  Everyone has their own ideas about what is needed, but we have to start by working together on what to prioritise.  Someone might have the seed of an idea that others could build on.  It’s about taking ideas as they come and then exploring and prioritising.

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