Martin Wright believes community is what you make of it. The Doreen resident lost his sight about six months ago and is now a member of the community reference group for the Mernda Rail Extension, helping to ensure people with disabilities can access the train line.
How long have you lived in Doreen and what brought you to the area?
We have lived here for about six years on and off. A lot of that time, we worked in the Kimberley. My wife was a nurse in remote Aboriginal communities and I drove ambulances. We lived in Diamond Creek for about 40 years and wanted to move somewhere flatter.
What do you like about living in Doreen?
I like the community, but communities are what you make of them. There is a new Anglican church, which we are members of, and we joined the Doreen Seniors Club. We’ve made a lot of friends. I like how well set out the area is. Even blind I can go walking. All the footpaths are fairly well constructed.
Why do you feel it is important to connect with your community?
I have always been interested in my community. I was a councillor for the Shire of Diamond Valley for nearly 20 years and a Scout leader. You meet people, you achieve things and you can see your achievements reflected in the community.
What, if anything, would you change?
I don’t think there is anything I would change. Things are still developing here and they take a while. Public transport has improved steadily.
How did you become involved with the community reference group for the Mernda Rail Extension and what is your role on the group?
I was asked to join the group. I am mainly making sure there is access for people with disabilities, whatever they may be.
How has your vision impairment changed how you use public transport?
It has made me start using public transport. I have eight per cent sight, so I can’t drive. We use it now quite a lot. Mernda rail will make a huge difference to us.