But I can say how excited and warmed I have been by the ways Broken Hill has helped me with this project. Everyone I speak to takes on my questions and helps me puzzle them through. I've been given substantial pieces of material, sometimes painstakingly written out by hand, by people who have watched the changes I am trying to document. Everyone from year 9 students to the elderly have behaved as if it was perfectly reasonable to drop everything to help me out. They point to records, archives, help me find them, record their memories for me, suggest others I could speak to. It is like having a whole town of research assistants. I am so grateful.
Also very excited to see democracy working as it should. Many people have come up to me to say "I was thinking about what you said in the paper" (see above) and contributing to my thinking and my work by engaging me in a discussion about it. A community that reads its local paper and discusses it, acts on it.
Wonderful. And that doesn't even acknowledge the kind and generous ways I've been welcomed by people who remember my name everywhere from exercise classes to cafes.