By Jacinta Cubis with Max Hardy – Feb-2017
Carol* weighed up the pros and cons carefully before signing up for the citizens’ jury in her regional town.
The appeal was dubious. Five Saturdays with 30 people she didn’t know. Giving up her gardening to learn about, discuss and debate unfamiliar issues. And write a report at the end. But it felt like it was important and she likes contributing.
It was an extraordinary experience. Carol enjoyed grappling with technical information and new ideas, and getting to know everyone.
“I found it so stimulating! I talked about it all the time at home. I think my friends got really sick of me!” Carol said with a chuckle.
Carol expected to be challenged, confused – bored even. She certainly didn’t expect to find an AFL umpire to volunteer for the football team she manages for kids with disabilities. Mark* offered to help out after Carol mentioned the team over lunch. Despite the two-hour drive from his place to Carol’s town, Mark was keen to share his skills and lend a hand.