The Glue That Holds Groups In Our Society Together

Margaret Roles

In more than one column, I have reflected on the social capital we hold in Hilltops. Social capital is the ‘glue’ that holds groups in our society together and enables individuals and groups to trust each other and so work together.

For the past 2 Sundays, I have seen the strength of Hilltops Glue – our social capital - at the Koorawatha Show and the International Women’s Day at Boorowa.

For many towns and communities, their show is their oldest community organisation, but most are struggling as they compete for relevance, volunteers get older and in this time of drought, there is little spare cash.

That is why it was encouraging to see at the Koorawatha Show, 17 smartly dressed teenagers, from Hilltops and surrounding areas, competing in the Group 10 Junior Judging. These young men and women are the future of local shows and indeed of regional NSW.

As part of their brief, not only were they judged on their scoring of beef cattle, fruit & veg, grain, sheep meat breeds, merino sheep & fleeces but also on their oral presentation, explaining their motivation for participation and positive reasons for their judging decisions. Speaking to one of the judges, Graham Hall from Wombat, not only was he impressed by the standard of judging by these young people, but also by their enthusiasm and dedication.

The International Women’s Day at Boorowa was another community day where the strength of Hilltops Glue was evident. Positive messages of recovery from the addictions of ice and alcohol – both prevalent in our rural world were sent out by two courageous country women.

Awareness of food choices had us all reconsidering the delicious pastries served with morning tea whilst Boorowa born Eileen Reckford, who holds a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, encouraged us to set realistic, achievable goals.

I will leave you with some of her sage advice: ‘When you catch yourself thinking the worst – stop. Focus your mind on the positive and the possible.’

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