Emma weaves this small town’s weft
EMMA Williams was born in the United Kingdom. Her parents moved to Melbourne when she was very young, and her family came to Chiltern nine years ago. What’s your job? My husband, Matt, and I own the Chiltern Post Office. We also operate The Linesman’s Cottage – self-contained holiday accommodation. What brought you to this role? Matt and I both had very busy jobs in Melbourne. Matt was a teacher and I was a chartered accountant. The balance between work (and crazy commutes) and a young family was becoming very one-sided. We decided we needed a change of scenery and pace and the ability to prioritise family. What do you love about your job? What I love most about running the Post Office is being an integral part of the Chiltern community. It is great to be able to get to know people and provide the ever-increasing services of Australia Post. They are not so excited about the bills we deliver, however. What do you do in the community? I am heavily involved with the Chiltern Tennis Club and more recently, PlasticWise – a community group aimed at reducing our reliance on single-use plastic and to otherwise recycle it. There are many small, easy choices that everyone can adopt which, in total, make a massive difference to the environment. We have been fortunate enough to partner with RedCycle and are able to offer a soft plastic recycling service, so this plastic doesn’t go to landfill.
What’s the most important current community issue for you?
The most important issue in Chiltern at the moment is the lack of a medical practice. Chiltern is a growing community – with a significant number of elderly residents and young children. A general practitioner based in the town is essential to support the community. What would you do to solve, change or improve that situation?
What’s the most important current world issue for you?
I believe one of the most important world issues is the human impact on the environment. I am passionate that if everyone makes small changes to the choices they make then the positive impact can be enormous.
If the person you’d most like to meet came to Indigo, or was already here, who would that be and what would you show them?
I would most like to show our senior politicians our amazing town, in particular, to highlight the importance of small, vibrant, connected communities. The current focus in politics is that “big is better” – bigger cities with more people. Life in smaller communities is much more focused on the sense of community – which I think is lost in bigger cities. Why would you show them those elements? I would show them all our amazing volunteer organisations – CFA, SES, CERT, sporting clubs, Athenaeum, Men’s Shed, Lions’ Club – and how so many people are volunteering their time to improve the community they live in. What book are you reading? I am about to start the autobiography of Fred Hollows. As part of a team, I undertook the Coastrek Walk earlier this year to raise funds for his foundation which continues to do amazing work giving sight back to blind people all around the world.
COMMUNITY: Chiltern’s Emma Williams is passionate about the fabric of small communities and protecting the environment.
Raising awareness of the issue and keeping it at the forefront of relevant authorities.