I was trying to find the words to look back on an eventful season with Parkes Shire Libraries, culminating in this year’s Australian national award for innovation in library youth services. I could have talked about how the country stereotypes have yielded to reveal a town of tough and funny and mad and passionate people. I could have recounted how all the amazing things we’ve done were really about a community that was ready for change, and a bunch of smart librarians who recognised that fact, and who drafted in an outsider to provoke and support and sustain that change.
Instead, I wanted the last word to come from someone else. One of our local writers, but one who – like me – came to Parkes a stranger and a foreigner.
Santhoshi Chander of the town writers’ group Author-rised kindly allowed me to share her thoughts about the experience of finding a new home out in the Aussie regions. “Ex-city-slicker” San divides her time between Sydney and Parkes.
A Country Fling, or
A Love Letter to Parkes
It seemed from the beginning the stakes were against us. I’m not claiming our story has Romeo and Juliet status. But in our own way, we started as star crossed lovers.