Dereel People – Richard Emery

Richard Emery

1. How long have you lived in the area?
3 ½ years. We were living in suburban Ballarat and for my 60th birthday received hire of a camper van as a gift from my family. We were home two hours from the trip when my partner said it was too noisy and she wanted to move to the country. We looked at a few places in Dereel before choosing ours, then moved in August 2012..

2. What’s great about living here?
The peace and quiet; even living on the main road. Also, the native animals, the bush, and of course the community around us

3. What do you feel passionate about?
I’m committed to the community, my family and my beautiful partner. My other passion is coffee.

4. What do you find joy in doing?
Waking up in the morning and realizing that I am NOT in the suburban rat race. The “bush” has a way of rejuvenating us all.

5. What is your current pet project?
Roasting coffee of course and getting DCHI up and going. I can’t wait until the redevelopment of the Hall is finished so we can get on with making it a beautiful spot for everyone to use.

6. What community groups are you involved in and why?
CERT-I wanted to get involved in the community. Being a non-active member seemed a good way to do so, without putting stress on my back. I was elected as Vice President, and then when the
position became vacant was volunteered as President. I am about to start training as an active member. My nursing background is about to get a very useful update

Dereel Community Hub– Again I saw it as a good opportunity to be involved and contribute to the community. I was elected as President so my role has expanded to get everyone working together.

7. Tell us about your best community experience.
It would have to be the Hub Café (Saturdays from 2pm until 4pm). It’s a great way of getting people together, and an opportunity to meet in a convivial setting. It gets people out and talking about what’s happening.

8. How could you see more of this happening in Dereel?
It’s about getting people accustomed to the idea that we want community to develop here, and providing a network and framework that will enable this to happen. There is so much potential here,
but it really needs a physical focal point for the community. The current Hall redevelopment will help by moving us in this direction.

9. Describe a future vision of Dereel that you would like to see.
I think having a community focal point is really important. A space that is clearly seen as the centre of Dereel – what we see as ‘Dereel’. To see this space in full use and continually available, however the community wants to use it. A space that is available, accessible and not intimidating. If it was open every day, that would be fabulous.
Broader than that, it would be nice to have a pub, shop, service station and tourist information centre. It would be good to attract tourism, maybe through recognising the endangered Browns Toadlet around the swamp. The formation and history of the Dereel Swamp could also be a talking point.

10. What would we do as a first step to realise that dream?
The starting point is to develop the focal point, the community centre. It would be great if when you looked up Dereel it marked this point as ‘Dereel’.

It’s about taking baby steps, building on the existing community spirit and working with existing active groups, but all pulling in the same direction

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