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Kaniva Expressions of Optimism

"It's a welcoming community that's why I think it's an optimistic town."

In the Kaniva Optimism Survey, we ask "What makes you Optimistic? and provide space for a free-text answer.   We have also been collecting expressions of optimism through interviews on the street and through door-knocking.

Oscar ("The Grouch") Harrison talked to Victor Perton 

"What makes me optimistic? The people in Kaniva. Like Sharon Merrett next door here.  Sharon Munn a few doors up.  Helen Hobbs there at the farm. They're all goers. They all want to do something for Kaniva and they are doing a bloody good job."

Holly Pepper

"What makes me optimistic for Kaniva? Such a large majority of the community want the best and work hard to improve the town. Whether this is tourism, sporting, education - locals are constantly seeking ways to improve our community."

Lynette Powell, Past President, Kaniva and District Progress Association

"What makes me optimistic for Kaniva? Seeing all the young people making Kaniva their future, working, building homes, having families, etc. I love all the groups and committees there are in Kaniva, all working for a positive purpose for our communities and community."

Courtenay

Victor Perton: Courtenay, what makes you optimistic? 

Courtenay: "It's all in the mindset. I think that's what it comes down to. Being in the community we live in, now we've got a lot to be grateful for too."

Victor: And what makes you optimistic about Kaniva?

Courtenay:  "The number of new shops that have opened is absolutely fantastic. We've got a good loyal following of customers here. I think everyone shops local as best they can, and that makes a big difference. The community itself is what puts back into our businesses, and in turn, we end up then with the superb parks, the fauna park, the sheep walk through all the people that work behind the scenes, the grants, the improvements, the streetscape that's coming up and all the rest of it. We couldn't ask for a better spot to live."

Bob Bone, Butcher, Bones Butchery

Victor Perton: What makes you Optimistic?

Bob Bone: "Well, I think the good people I serve. They're not all good (wink and laughter), but most of them are good. I think that makes your day."

Victor Perton: "What makes you Optimistic for Kaniva?"

Bob Bone: "We've got a good farming industry. We've got a good school, a good hospital, the street's holding its own. On the highway, I think it's okay.

Victor Perton: And has your Kaniva butcher business changed over the years? What's changed?

Bob Bone: "Oh, definitely changed a lot. Definitely changed a lot. Consumers are a bit more demanding now. Less standard cutting of meat and more value added products. They want more work done for them in preparation. And longer hours we're always going to the end of the day now."

Tracy in Shop interviewed by Victor Perton.

Victor Perton:  What makes you optimistic?

Tracy:  'My family and visiting them when we can. My kids are in South Australia, so that makes me optimistic, looking forward to when we can do that again. 

Victor: "And what makes you optimistic for Kaniva?"

Tracy: "I'm optimistic because our shops are full. Most of our shop fronts stay full, and people care that it looks nice and it looks vibrant when a lot of other little towns don't. So, that makes me optimistic.

"We have good aged care. We have things that keep the town going, so that makes me optimistic.

"And something interesting: Younger people who could shop on the internet are coming in and shopping in person - showing they value and support the shops in town."

Judy in the Salvos Shop

Victor Perton: "And what makes you optimistic, Judy?"

Judy: I love to see the people come in and be grateful for their little bargains that they get in the shop .  And we all help each other out when we know somebody's needing a bit of a hand.

Victor: And what makes you optimistic for Kaniva? Why do you see Kaniva as a positive and thriving community?

Judy: "I think because we are all positive and we all help each other out."

Jenny in the Salvos Shop

Jenny:  Ditto with Judy; I think everyone does help each other out. People: Being a small town and everyone knowing everyone, they seem to pick up if you're not feeling right or things are going wrong. And people who either have tragedy or might be diagnosed with cancer or the like - You're not there by yourself; you're not at home by yourself. So people help each other because It just seems to be the way we are in Kaniva. 

Victor:  And personally, what makes you optimistic? Is it faith, or family or mindset?

Jenny: "Well, I don't actually have any family left, so. I think just being in the community, knowing everybody, knowing that people will support and help you, no matter what you're going through, whether good, bad, or indifferent. And I think too, being in here with the Salvos, it doesn't matter whether you have a million dollars or you have no dollars. Everyone seems to be the same, and they seem to come in, and they support the shop. They come in if you've got dollars; they support the shop because the money we make here goes to everybody in the community. And I'll think that's a lovely thing." 

Sharon Munn

"What makes me optimistic? I think just mindset. A positive one. It gets things done."

Victor Perton: And what makes you optimistic about Kaniva? 

Sharon: "Well, I've grown up in Kaniva and travelled away, came back because I like the area. I like the people. I like the district. I like the look of the town. I think it's a great place to bring up your kids. It's safe. There are lots to like about it. And we've got essential businesses in town which we want to keep. Yes, and we have people come to town and say what a nice place it is compared to other towns close by."

Anthony - a relatively new resident

"It's a friendly, welcoming community, and it's a friendly town.

"The business people have got a good attitude.  They look after the locals and so you feel good to support them.

"I'm joined the Landcare group. We've had two tree plantings on properties, one of Broughton, and there was one just out of Miram.

"It's a welcoming community that's why I think it's an optimistic town."


Jenna

"What makes me optimistic? I just think it's such a lovely little community and everyone helps everyone out. So it's nice. All the shopkeepers are always so friendly and lovely. All the ladies that work in the cafes are just beautiful there. We like to go down and support them."

Tom

"What makes me optimistic about Kaniva?  It's just a great community. Everyone's friendly. Everyone's got time to chat. Everyone waves. Yeah, it's good."

Alison interviewed by Victor Perton in the Windmill Cafe:

Alison: "What makes me optimistic? Well, I suppose life in general. I think I've always been optimistic.

Victor: "And what makes you optimistic about Kaniva and the community you live in?"

Alison: Oh, well, I suppose I've never lived anywhere else. It's a good place — a friendly community.

Marion interviewed by Victor Perton in the Windmill Cafe:

Marion:  What makes me optimistic?  I think I'm just happy to be here.  And I think Kaniva's a great place.  The surroundings are nice. I like the trees in the street. I like the roses in the street, and I like the people. I just like everything about Kaniva. It's a nice place.

Joan interviewed by Victor Perton in the Windmill Cafe:

Joan: "I have lived here 50 years.  What makes me optimistic?  Living in Kaniva and all my friends in Kaniva."

Barbara Collins

Barbara Collins: "What makes me optimistic? Well, it's just a lovely town. I'm very happy here. I've got no family, no relatives. But everybody's friendly and kind. And I'm very happy to be here. I like going to the day centre because there are lots of friends up there. We play cards and have good times up there. And yes, it's just a nice place.

Victor Perton: "How long have you lived in Kaniva?

Barbara Collins: Since 1960.

Victor: And what brought you here?

Barbara Collins: "I got married to a local fellow, and I've been here ever since. I was a housewife, and my husband was a grocer.


Judy

Victor: Judy, what makes you optimistic?

Judy: "Well, each day that you have, you get up, and you've got that day to live well."

Victor:  And what makes you optimistic about Kaniva?

Judy: "It's got good people in it. We have creative people in Kaniva, and I love introducing them to even wider canvases." 

Fiona

"Kaniva is a friendly community, a diverse community, and we all seem to get along with whatever nationality or wherever the people have come from regardless of their religion or age.  There's plenty of opportunities. We've had a few plans in the past that haven't come through, but opportunity is always there."

Sharon Merrett

"We usually work together for the benefit of the town and to make sure everyone is cared for, which makes Kaniva a great place to live."

Warren (A relatively new resident)

Victor: What makes you optimistic?"

Warren: "The people. They look forward."

"I came from a town that lost a lot of its identity to Melbourne people coming, and all of a sudden property prices went through the roof, and I benefited from that. 

"But then the town lost its local identity. All these classic old pubs became eateries for the weekend. And I was in the Small Business Council, and the local government council would spend endless dollars on attracting people up from Melbourne, and we would fight, hang on, you can't walk on the pavement. 

"So what I find here in Kaniva is the council is a little more about 'these are people that pay the rates', and we're not just a target for somewhere else, and that's why I love the town.

"It's a tribute to the strength of this town good that the community didn't want to see the Roadhouse close, and they bought it, so we've still got that. It's an asset to our town. Many towns lose things, but the people here bought it, and we all try to support them because we wouldn't want to lose it. So it's great that way. "

 

Lorraine Jewell

"What makes me optimistic? Oh, I think it's the good people of the town. Where we're situated in Victoria, and we all get together and organize things. We have good leaders - I think of people like Nancy Alexander and the progress association."

Sharon

“I think Kaniva’s a lovely little town that kids can grow up in more freely. There’s opportunity for them, and the town people look after the young folks. People are looking for new opportunities. New business people are moving into the community to help keep the community alive.”

Amanda Munn

"Kaniva is a community that is able to work together to reach a goal, the Kaniva HUB has been a huge project which the Kaniva Community worked through."

Prudence

"Kaniva?  I'm optimistic about people caring for each other and checking in on each other."

Pete

"I believe in community and I love the community spirit here in Kaniva."

Narelle

"The people. They look forward."

"I came from a town that lost a lot of its identity to Melbourne people coming, and all of a sudden property prices went through the roof, and I benefited from that. 

"But then the town lost its local identity. All these classic old pubs became eateries for the weekend. And I was in the Small Business Council, and the local government council would spend endless dollars on attracting people up from Melbourne, and we would fight, hang on, you can't walk on the pavement. 

"So what I find here in Kaniva is the council is a little more about 'these are people that pay the rates', and we're not just a target for somewhere else, and that's why I love the town.

"It's a tribute to the strength of this town good that the community didn't want to see the Roadhouse close, and they bought it, so we've still got that. It's an asset to our town. Many towns lose things, but the people here bought it, and we all try to support them because we wouldn't want to lose it. So it's great that way. "

Frank

"It's quiet and I moved from Melbourne.  I love just being able to go for a walk with the dog.  And yeah, everyone's pretty nice on the street."

Anonymous

"What makes me optimistic for Kaniva? The community do it attitude. I.e. buying the roadhouse. Green tidy. Alive looking town. Organisations of all kinds are well supported. The Kaniva hub, fundraising, sheep and silo art."

Anonymous 

"Full of wonderful people who readily volunteer for many roles and look out for each other."

Anonymous

"What makes me optimistic about Kaniva?  The young people in businesses and positive people."

Anonymous

"Jack Mills…our community couldn’t be any more prouder of our returned soldier.. bless him."

anonymous

"What makes me optimistic is my family, and the progress and change we have made it through. I figure if we can get through life so far, we can carve and path onwards and get to where we want to be."


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