chapter  5
Rurality, disability and place identity
ByDaniela Stehlik
Pages 12

This chapter suggests that place has multiple meanings, and is formed 'out of the particular set of social relations which interact at a particular location'. The search for community external to place can also be seen in the rapid uptake of social media as a form of communication in rural Australia. In Western Australia, where the distances are very far, and services largely located in the capital city, parents of children with a disability were expected to attend the city-based Children's Hospital, and this often meant mothers spent time with those children in Perth, while other children stayed at home or were cared for by relatives. Place identity becomes fixed around the disability, rather than around the person. Central to a philosophical approach underpinning the pilot programme in Queensland, and one which also valued and supported place identity, was the acknowledgement of the need to maintain and strengthen social capital in the various pilot communities.