Leav­ing MCDA to fol­low his dreams

John Sharpe is off to join Sea Shep­herd on the coast

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE - Tobi Lof­tus Tobi.Lof­tus@cnbtimes.com.au

MUNDUBBERA Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion Cen­tre man­ager John Sharpe has an­nounced he is re­tir­ing from his role in the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“I’m go­ing back to fol­low­ing my dreams I guess you could say,” Mr Sharpe said.

“I’m go­ing to pur­sue my pas­sion of pol­i­tics, en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­i­tics and mu­sic.

“I want to go into mu­sic pro­mo­tion, that’s sort of de­vel­oped since I’ve been here.

“I didn't play a mu­si­cal in­stru­ment and then my hair fell out so I couldn't be a pop star. “I like or­gan­is­ing things.” Mr Sharpe, who has been at the cen­tre for 12 years, said he would also like to do some vol­un­teer work when he moved to the coast.

“I hope to be­come a vol­un­teer with Sea Shep­herd at an or­gan­i­sa­tional level,” he said.

“What­ever role they see fit for me.”

Though Mr Sharpe said peo­ple would not see him on the news try­ing to stop whal­ing boats.

“When I learn to swim I will,” he said.

“What Sea Shep­herd does on land though is catch­ment man­age­ment, that's what I did be­fore I came here.

“I see it as a bit of a pro­gres­sion to travel to other spots around the world.

“I used to be a dairy farmer, then a cane farmer, then a uni stu­dent, I worked in nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment be­fore com­ing here, so it’s like go­ing back to to the fu­ture.”

Mr Sharpe said he thought one of his great­est achieve­ments at the MCDA was a men’s men­tal health pro­gram.

“It was called the Lo­cal Blokes Lo­cal An­swers pro­gram and that was spun for seven years,” he said.

“It was de­signed to keep males re­silient dur­ing times of change in their lives.

“It en­cour­aged males to take about their prob­lems and seek an­swers that were avail­able lo­cally.”

He said one of the big­gest chal­lenges in the role was try­ing to cre­ate a sense of com­mu­nity in­clu­sive­ness be­tween the dif­fer­ent North Bur­nett towns.

“It’s been very hard, as we’ve got all the towns that we ser­vice, while we are classed as Mundubbera, a lot of our pro­grams take in the whole of the North Bur­nett,” he said.

“Each town is dif­fer­ent, each com­mu­nity is dif­fer­ent, but they just won't sup­port each other, why is that?

“It seems to be some­thing that has been de­vel­oped tra­di­tion­ally, a so­cial con­struc­tion, maybe just some­thing that be­cause small towns have got to be re­silient and have to be ba­si­cally able to stand on their own feet they don't ac­cept change very read­ily.”

He said he would miss a num­ber of as­pects of the role, but mainly help­ing peo­ple.

“I’ll miss the in­ter­ac­tion with peo­ple,” he said.

“I in­tend to help peo­ple any­way wher­ever I go.”

Mr Sharpe said he planned to re­main at the MCDA un­til Christ­mas.

I’m go­ing to pur­sue my pas­sion of pol­i­tics, en­vi­ron­ment pol­i­tics and mu­sic. — John Sharpe

PHOTO: TOBI LOF­TUS

FAREWELL: John Sharpe is leav­ing the MCDA and fol­low­ing his dreams.

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