Recycle & Donate
In July 2022, shortly after joining the Department of Communities, Mark Garvey moved to the stunning and remote location of Burringurrah, a small aboriginal community located 12 hours inland and north of Perth.
Previously Mark was a police officer in NSW and no stranger to working in remote communities, which he has done for 25 out of the 28 years he’s been in the police force.
Mark’s current post may be extremely remote, with the nearest shop being 300 kilometres away, but for Mark its remoteness is one of the reasons why he’s there “It’s in a beautiful area and that attracted me personally” and says “The people out here are fantastic. In the town here there is a community school, a nurse, two police and myself”.
An integral part of Mark’s role as a Senior Community Child Protection Worker is in community development, and part of that role he believes is understanding what makes a good community. As Mark explains “In my opinion I think [it’s] activities and opportunities and I’m always looking out for things that I can do to improve the quality of life and experiences of the people here.”
Which is why he decided to draw on his experience as a boxing coach and started boxing classes for adults and kids in Burringurrah. As much as he would like to start up more after school activities for the kids, his role means he moves between Burringurrah, Meekatharra and Wiluna. Instead he organises events like movie nights, BBQ’s, one day cricket matches and family fishing competitions that keep him active and engaged with the community “We have a number of families here in the area where I live so we’re just going to go to a local pond and have a fishing competition. I’ll put on a BBQ and give em a trophy. But the point is, it’s not what I’m doing, it’s the interaction the families have, the interest, the experience, you know. I’m just trying to get the families going, does that make sense? I just think it contributes to the families well being and that sort of stuff…a better outcome for the kids and the families.”
Mark has also been able to support the local schools in Burringurrah, Meekatharra and Wiluna by sourcing some much needed cricket, AFL, basketball and soccer equipment through our Donate and Recycle Program, and is delighted to report all of the equipment is being used “I tell ya, it’s great to see them out there playing with it every day. At lunch times and break times they’ve always got a ball of some description in their hand and that’s good” and emphasises “It’s not like a suburb in Perth, it’s completely different out here”.
“They just wouldn’t have these opportunities without the equipment that Fair Game donated. From my point of view, thanks to Fair Game, they appreciate it, and it’s made a big difference for being here”.
Story by Priscilla Lynch