A few months ago through a chain of events I found myself at the Baldivis shops discussing a community book project to support the opening of what’s now a fabulous modern shopping centre, 4 times the size of what it used to be.
Through an Instagram competition among the residents of Baldivis and Rockingham 12 children were selected to represent and share their favorite places around town. Meeting these kids and their families, hearing their stories and at times receiving the tightest of hugs had been a true highlight of 2015. By embracing and experiencing each kid’s location of choice together we tried our best to tell their story through pictures. Below are some of my favorites from these 12 sessions and some of the words from the Stockland Baldivis community photo book.
Justin McNair, 7. Favorite place: Baldivis fire station.
“My dad is a fireman. Two years ago, he came to visit my school to tell all the kids about being safe in a fire. He showed us how the hoses spray water from the truck. Once we went to a family BBQ at the fire station. In the middle of it my dad and some other firemen had to go out to a job, and we heard the trucks leaving with their sirens on. I had to block my ears.”
Justin was lucky enough to try on his Dad’s uniform – both old and new. What a contrast! It was humbling to watch a 7 year old boy talk about recent Baldivis fires (we shot this within days of the big arson attempts in the area) and how we would like to be a volunteer firefighter when he grows up.
Very tempted to turn on the water and give me a spray!
It didn’t take long to see that Justin is incredibly proud of his dad!
Jacinta Knight, 9. Favorite place: Baldivis children’s forest.
“… I love going there, playing and hiding. I like reading the information signs and learning more about the trees and plants. I love seeing the native animals and learning about the Indigenous culture of the area. I go there with my family a lot and with Little Athletics training each week doing hurdles or cross-country. There are lots of walking trails. I feel joyful when I’m in the Forest.”
Jacinta was so in her element! Climbing, running, discovering and chatting the whole time 🙂 A joyful little girl and a very worthy Ambassador!
Levi Robinson, 4. Favorite place: “Nanna’s Resort” Affinity retirement village.
“At Nanna’s clubhouse there is a pool. I love swimming. I can jump in and swim underwater. Her house is close to our place and I go there lots. Sometimes I have sleepovers there. I like to help her cook. Nanna give me extra dessert and makes home-made chippies. We have a cup of tea in the morning in her backyard. Nanna has a dog called Bindi. We taker her for walks around Nanna’s resort and to the shops. I like having Nanna to myself, but I miss Luca (1) when I’m not with him.”
Levi was a little shy at first, but the moment we got to the pool it all went away. The boy loves being in the water and splashing Nanna!
How is this for a club house at the retirement village? Stockland property at its best!
They have a fabulous ball room with a grand piano to enjoy social gatherings. We had a private dance party!
Zeke Hawking, 5. Favorite place: Stokland Baldivis construction site.
Now this boy I have known for a number of years, and of course it was not surprising that he was chosen to represent the construction site.
If you know the family you know what their backyard toy collection looks like: there are trucks, diggers, loaders, excavators and other heavy machinery of all shapes and sizes. Zeke owns his high-visibility vest and hard hat, and happens to wear it out and about. This in fact was one of the reasons the community photo book project started. The boy is somewhat a local celebrity (scroll to the bottom of his photo set – you’ll see why!)
“I like watching the trucks that come and go to put shops in the new shopping centre. There are so many I can’t count them. The trucks are big. They all do different jobs like digging, moving things or reaching up high. My favorite is the grader which makes things even. There are lots of cranes in the sky. One day I might drive one of the trucks like I drive the red ride-on mower at my grandad’s house.”
Zeke got a private tour of the construction zone (all access pass), a solo ride on the scissor lift….
… took part in a planning meeting with the Stockland construction supervisor Wayne…
… had a drink break (photo sessions are exhausting)
and finally his ultimate wish of the day: sitting in the cab of this… thing. All in a day’s work!
And now piece de resistance: the shrine. This image is up on hoarding in the new shopping centre. The family visits it regularly and is considering remodeling their house if request to keep it is granted. 🙂