Robertson a bright future vision.
What kind of Robertson? What kind do you want to live in? To die in? For your grandchildren?
“This could be the start of something great” as the song says. It could be the start of a discussion or dialogue about our future, the future of the place we live in. But really is just part of a discussion many people in Robertson have a lot of the time.
So I’d like to put forward a piece of the future picture. Firstly, I know I’m just part of an ongoing discussion between locals more experienced than I am about the town. ( See last paragraph) So with some trepidation here goes.
I would like Robertson to be a community, a place where we include others and support one another. No not in some sickly sweet do gooder way, just an Aussie way of looking out for one another. I would like to end my days here, at home, not in a nursing home where I would not live longer; just die longer.
So often I have heard of “children”, adults who have to pack their parents away because they cannot be looked after here. But they could stay here with greater quality of life connected with relatives and friends if there were services to cater for them (us).
We would need smaller places to live. Preferably, this could be within walking, hobbling distance to the shops. Shops where we could get a coffee or a beer and shops where we could meet others, young and old.
What would need to happen to make Robbo such a place? Good medical services-we have these and the service here could specialize in the care of older souls and bodies. Students could come here to specialize in the care of the elderly. The elderly are a growing group, a larger proportion of the Australian population than ever before. So even commercially there is a growing market for services to the elderly.
The Robertson Doctor, currently gives us an enviable and affordable series of services and not just for our bodies, our minds, emotions and souls.
Carers will need care themselves and support and respite as part of the team looking after older people.
There would, probably, be a series of teams of differing mixes of skills for different people. That work needs coordination to provide the best mix of resources of the family and friends.
There would need be catering, cleaning, gardening, transport and purchasing services slightly different from those available now.
All this would mean jobs and meaningful work for younger people and older retired professionally trained careers. Those starting their work lives could start while living here, rather than in the isolation of a city.
I would need somewhere to walk, to swim, to exercise. And what a place we have for this. How many people even in Australia have such wonderful places to stroll, walk and be nurtured by the scenery? For me the bush is a place to restore my spirit, my soul, to link with ever changing, growing nature. The Council is working on more and varied walks around and between villages. See Facebook: Tracks and Trails of Wingecarribee.
Probably in a smaller house I would not have my own workshop/shed. But I would still have a need to make things, to fix things for us and others. So a community shed would be great. Likewise a community garden where we cold grow some stuff and learn about gardening with others would be a treasure. I have often thought that Robertson could grow its own vegetables and fruit on our rich soil verges. After all we do not eat grass and you don’t have to mow potatoes.
An exciting challenge for all this is to think differently about the whole community and to be flexible so as to learn from successful examples, newer ways and to admit that we do not have all the answers.
These are sketchy ideas, part dream, part imagined wants and needs. However, I know I am not the only one to develop these dreams to grow, plant and nurture them and link them with others. Then there is the matter of sharing them with the Council to ensure future appropriate building regulations, block sizes and services.
So I throw out these ideas, these bits in the hope that others will pick up bits to form a mosaic, a common dream for our future.
As I write this over a coffee at Moonrakers three men are discussing ideas to improve our town, so the discussion goes on in all kinds of ways.
It’s Robertson; Smile and Wave.
Michael D. Breen Thursday, 13 October 2016