COUN­CIL WATCH Ru­ral roots and ugg boots

Dubbo Photo News - - Council Watch - By YVETTE AUBUSSON-FO­LEY

WHEN a new­bie to town tells you the first step they took was to buy a house here, that’s a sign they’re gen­uinely putting down roots. When the fol­low up is “... and a pair of Ugg boots” – well, what more needs to be said?

Dubbo Re­gional Coun­cil’s new Cor­po­rate Im­age and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ager, An­drew Par­sons has lived here less than two months, but the city took a hold on him well be­fore he was of­fered his new role.

“Through the work I’d been do­ing with ru­ral crime in­ves­ti­ga­tors through­out NSW, I was get­ting a lot of exposure to th­ese ar­eas and see­ing what the re­gions are do­ing now and how much they’ve changed in the 24 years since I’ve lived away from a re­gional cen­tre,” Mr Par­sons re­flects.

“Dubbo kept com­ing up. I was al­ways im­pressed with it be­cause my wife Ce­celia and I would come to Dubbo rel­a­tively reg­u­larly be­cause we’re mem­bers of the Taronga Zoo fam­ily.

“We’d come out here and stay at the Zoo­fari Lodges. That was our week­end get­away from time to time. Dubbo was a place which has al­ways had a solid at­trac­tion.”

Mr Par­sons needed time out from his busy sched­ule as Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions for NSW Po­lice Force and prior to that, as the head of Me­dia and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Fire and Res­cue NSW.

“Hav­ing had the roles I’d had in Syd­ney op­er­at­ing at a pretty high tempo and in very po­lit­i­cally and op­er­a­tionally charged en­vi­ron­ments, it got to the point where I was miss­ing what I like to call some gen­uine fab­ric of liv­ing in a com­mu­nity.

“I was miss­ing the lifestyle of not be­ing so un­der the pump con­stantly and re­ally want­ing to go back to an area I felt fa­mil­iar with, hav­ing grown up in Wagga,” he said.

The Rive­rina is where Mr Par­sons started in broad­cast me­dia as a 15-year-old school stu­dent, earn­ing pocket money in ra­dio with 2WG. Af­ter com­plet­ing his HSC, he switched to TV which even­tu­ally took him over­seas.

“Re­gional me­dia is where I started and I re­main very pas­sion­ate about its ex­is­tence and am ex­tremely grate­ful for the op­por­tu­ni­ties it has af­forded me.” DUBBO Re­gional Coun­cil has part­nered with Westhaven Dis­abil­i­ties for a pitch to the NSW Govern­ment for fund­ing to cre­ate em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for disabled peo­ple in the com­mu­nity.

The or­gan­i­sa­tions seek to pro­vide dis­abil­ity em­ploy­ment through the en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity prac­tices of tak­ing waste pa­per and card­board, cre­at­ing col­lec­tion points, bal­ing and on sell­ing for re-cy­cling pur­poses.

The pub­lic can sup­port the pitch by vot­ing on the My Com­mu­nity Project web­site.

Up to $260,000 is avail­able for each NSW elec­torate.

The “Re­cy­cling as a sus­tain­able choice” pitch is seek­ing $198,000 in fund­ing.

Dubbo Re­gional Coun­cil’s new Cor­po­rate Im­age and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager An­drew Par­sons with his wife Ce­celia Hutchin­son-par­sons now call Dubbo home. PHOTO: SUP­PLIED.

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