As the 21st Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast wraps up this weekend, it is timely that we take a moment to consider the efforts of our athletes and their support teams. Some dreams will have been dashed, others will have been realised, but we can all tip our hats to acknowledge the hard work and determination it takes to make it at that elite level.
At a local level, dreams are being realised too. At this month's Women in Business meeting in Batemans Bay, Mayor Liz Innes applauded the efforts of the group for making a positive contribution and for being active members of their community. Essentially, the Mayor was speaking to a room full of dreamers; many with their own businesses and many are the driving force behind some of our key community events. The Batemans Bay Paddle Challenge, the Mother’s Day Classic, the Bra Drive, and the popular Makers & Growers Market in Batemans Bay, are just a few of the events the members are involved with (and that’s in the months of April and May alone!).
Mayor Innes further complimented those working behind the scenes of the events and those with recent achievements. One of the members she congratulated was Sharon Halliday on the release of her debut book, Messages from the Heart: 39 Answers to your life questions. Sharon had spoken about her upcoming Author Talk at the Batemans Bay Library after realising her dream of becoming a published author.
Pursuing dreams is a common theme throughout Sharon’s book and is the basis of her writing journey spanning three decades. Next Wednesday during her Author Talk, Sharon will be sharing how her writing developed from spending hours in the far corners of her family’s cherry orchard in Young. It was there that she would journal about farm life, which included everything from the struggles to the sunsets. Sharon will also share how the family was on the brink of financial ruin and had no proper home to live in when the bank’s interest rate spiked to 22% in the late 80s.
“It is out of great hardship that great dreams can be forged,” she says.
One of Sharon’s great dreams of becoming a published author finally became a reality when she was featured as weekly columnist “Ask Sharon” for The Area News in Griffith in 2015. In the agony-aunt-like role, she would respond to questions from the public and would answer with self-help practical advice. Her columns covered the topics most people want to know about–money, work, relationships, happiness, health and wellbeing–and so she collated them into a book.
Sharon, who relocated back to Batemans Bay in 2017, also wrote about the murder of Leeton school teacher and bride-to-be Stephanie Scott.
“It is still the hardest piece I’ve ever had to write”, she says.
Her special edition column on the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes campaign to raise awareness of violence against women, was published in Wagga Wagga’s The Daily Advertiser, and her reflection on the Las Vegas Shooting last year, was published in the Bay Post and Narooma News.
And so as we consider the dreams of the Commonwealth Games participants we might also consider the dreams being followed by those in our own backyard.
Above: Sharon Halliday (left) and Megan Garrett at Women in Business meeting