Dowerin Community Resource abuzz ahead of Field Days

Headshot of Cally Dupe
Cally DupeCountryman
CTY Dowerin Field Days preview. Sonya Ralph (left) and Jade Rackham at the Community Resources Centre. Pic. Iain Gillespie The West Australian
Camera IconCTY Dowerin Field Days preview. Sonya Ralph (left) and Jade Rackham at the Community Resources Centre. Pic. Iain Gillespie The West Australian Credit: The West Australian

Every Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days season, the town’s Community Resource Centre attracts a crop of new visitors.

Business leaders wanting to hire a meeting place, exhibitors doing last-minute printing, or tourists wanting to photocopy, print and fax documents — these are just some of the ways the CRC’s facilities come in handy both during Field Days season and throughout the year.

This year, the Dowerin CRC will have another service to offer to both locals and those passing through — and it’s all thanks to the Field Days.

The Centre received a $5000 grant through one of the Field Days’ two annual funding rounds in March of this year, spending the cash on a new Kodak photo printer and a Canon photocopier/printer.

The Kodak printer has been put in good use since it was installed last year, with children taking part in a school holidays photography program recently.

After a walk to capture some of Dowerin’s most photogenic sights, participants were able to print their photographs and take them home.

Dowerin CRC manager Sonya Ralph said the CRC — in the former Commercial Bank of Australia building on Dowerin’s main street — played an important role during Field Days.

“We can help with any exhibitor requirements,” she said.

“Needing cash, last minute office services or even just a quiet office space.”

Ms Ralph has been managing the Dowerin Community Resource Centre since March 2021, working part time along with two other part-time staff, Jade Rackham and Shelley Matthews.

She stepped into the role after years of running her own catering business in the Central Wheatbelt.

Ms Ralph said the past few months had included a lot of time “refocusing” on what role the CRC had in the community — a role which is always evolving.

“We have been reinvigorating the working partnership with key stakeholders in the community, such as the Shire, Field Days and the Community Club,” she said.

Each year, Dowerin Events Management opens applications in March and October for grants of between $1000 and $5000 — injecting $15,000 into the local community.

It helps to provide another revenue stream for clubs, organisations and groups that benefit the local community — helping them buy equipment, hold events or carry out projects.

The Dowerin CRC serves as the local Bendigo Bank Agency, a Centrelink access point and provides general CRC support services to the community including printing, faxing, photocopying and other administration services.

“You have to be a bit of a jack of all trades to work here, which is what CRCs are becoming,” Ms Ralph said.

“When CRCs first started, people didn’t have that technology at home and CRCs have evolved to be more of a support for people.”

Dowerin CRC chair Kezia Metcalf said the new Canon printer had saved countless volunteer hours by speeding up the way the local paper, the Dowerin Despatch, was produced.

“Previously we were using two printers, one for colour and one for black and white,” she said.

“The new printer has enabled us to minimise the burden on volunteers who if still interested, can help the CRC in different areas.”

The Dowerin CRC will be open Tuesday to Friday during Field Days week.

Click here to view the digital edition of the program.

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