THE STORYTELLERS

JEANETTE O'HARA

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Jeanette O'Hara

Jeanette O'Hara

 

JEANETTE O’HARA: I've always enjoyed meeting people and talking to people, even now, everything I do is to do with people all the time and that's what I enjoy doing very much so.

OLEV MUSKA: And that's infectious, I suppose, isn’t it?

JEANETTE: It is!

OLEV: … people can really pick up on that …

JEANETTE: People do. See, some people are extremely quiet and if you can start to talk to them, they will open up and tell you things. People will tell you things that they do not tell their own families …

OLEV: It's interesting isn't it?

JEANETTE: … because they don't, but you can sit there with them and discuss many, many things with them and they need to tell people things. Some people are quite unhappy and if they can discuss it with people, I think its quite good for them.

OLEV: Absolutely, and I totally subscribe to that point of view, and this is where community work is invaluable, it actually saves on metal health bills down the track if you can engage.

JEANETTE: Well, yes. Being lonely and depressed is the worst thing to be. You need to keep busy and I’ve always been the same. At school, I always played sport. I still play tennis. I've always loved sport. I always love being involved with things.

OLEV: And that's a team effort  …

JEANETTE: Yeah, yeah, that's what it is, its quite good.

OLEV: I think the fact that you've' been around for such a while is a huge asset.

JEANETTE: Well they do… and everybody knows you because, well, I’ve lived in the area and I’ve sort of been in the area with different things and it is an asset…

I always feel very privileged that they’re comfortable to come to me and say, “Look, I’ve got this problem, can you help?” While now I’ve even retired from Council, people say, “Oh look, there’s a problem”, that’s alright … let me know what your problem is and I’ll just put you onto the right people … I’m the one they see up and down the street all the time, so its very convenient for them to talk to me, and I’m quite happy about that because of all the other committees I’m on anyhow … and I enjoy that.

OLEV: … and you’re totally hands on, which is terrific!

JEANETTE: I am, I feel very privileged that people feel comfortable …

OLEV: … Well you've earned that, haven't you?

JEANETTE: Well, maybe I have but it's just nice and I like to work for the different things …

OLEV: … and it comes back to your core values and what, perhaps, this place has given you as well.

JEANETTE: Exactly! And you should give back. If you are given things, you should give back to your community and give back to things, as far as I'm concerned. I think that’s very, very important.

OLEV: I'm a little bit concerned that all the people I'm interviewing are very happy with being here and they wouldn't leave it for quids!

JEANETTE: No, no!

OLEV: I’m not hearing any disparaging voices whatsoever.

JEANETTE: I love Concord. Concord is like a little country town. Harry went to St Ambrose, to school. All my kids went to St Ambrose, to school. You'll find a lot of people, a lot of their grand children are going there. You don't leave - its a beautiful area. I wouldn't like to leave!

 

BACKGROUND

In response to community consultation, a number of local residents were interviewed and recorded. The sessions took place in December 2012 and February 2013 at Concord Library.

A short excerpt from each resident appears on this website. Together, they form a cross-section of insights into the wonderful community that is of and around the North Strathfield area.

The full interviews will be archived and available for borrowing at the City of Canada Bay Council Library Services.


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