“You have to break a few eggs to make a cake.”
It’s a quirky little quote that Shire of Dardanup Councillor Carmel Boyce uses to describe the great changes she has seen in the community of Eaton since arriving with her husband, Johno almost 30 years ago from Newman and raising both their now adult children, Sara and Rohan, here.
During those 30 years, Carmel has had a long involvement with local community groups from the Leschenault Neighbourhood Toy Library to the Eaton Community and Development Association to the Eaton Community College P & C and more recently SAFE-Saving Animals from Euthanasia.
She confesses to being a ‘dog-tragic’ and animal lover.
Spurred on by the desire to make a difference and well supported by Johno, Carmel was elected to Council in 2003 unopposed and has retained her seat ever since.
While impressed by the progress and urban development that now surrounds her, the passionate environmentalist inside likes to ensure that change occurs responsibly and sustainably.
“I feel like I offer a different perspective in Council,” Carmel says of her time in the role.
“I tend to think about things differently and I like to think I am a mitigating factor when it comes to the impact of progress and development on the environment.”
While she openly admits to being passionate in her attitudes toward environmental issues, Carmel says she has learned to celebrate the small victories along the way and always considers the impact of decisions on the community.
These include projects like the organisation of community planting days and busy bees along the Eaton Foreshore and some major planting up at Leicester Ramble some years ago which complemented a Shire project to create walking paths along the river.
But it’s not just her passion for environmental causes that ensures Carmel offers an alternate voice on Council.
With Councillor Patricia Perks, she is one of only two women on a team of nine – reflective of a national trend for women to be under-represented in Local Government.
Having encouraged Patricia to run for election almost two years ago, Carmel celebrates the addition of another woman to Council as a win for diversity and inclusiveness.
“Representative democracy means that all sections of the community should have representation and I think that our Council mostly achieves that,” she said.
Carmel hopes to see more women in the Council Chambers following Local Government elections in October this year and would encourage any woman with a passion for their community to run.
In her working life, Carmel has enjoyed a long career in computing and administrative roles and is currently working with the Leschenault Catchment Council.