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A Piece of Good Land
Four Corners is a 3600-acre farm nestled away in the Shire of Dandaragan in Western Australia. When Ron and Val Carter first acquired it in 1955, it was virgin scrub land — no communication, no electricity, just acres of bush. They envisioned a viable farm where cattle grazed and crops flourished; a place where they could raise their growing family.
Over twenty-five years, they developed that land one small piece at a time, fighting against many struggles: droughts that almost wiped out their flocks of sheep and out-of-control bushfires that threatened to burn away everything they were working towards. This inspirational story is about family, community and hard work; but most of all, about never giving up on their dreams, no matter how many obstacles they faced, including snooty bank managers who told them, ‘You’ll never make it.’
The author was born in the wheatbelt town of Meckering, Western Australia, in 1935. Valma (Val) Shehan grew up on the family wheat and sheep farm with her parents and three brothers. Her education started at the small North Meckering School, where there were never more than fourteen students till the end of the Second World War. Her three years of secondary education were spent at a Catholic boarding school in Fremantle. In 1956, Val married a local farmer, Ron Carter. Together they raised five children while they spent many years developing and moving to their property Four Corners, twenty -five miles west of Badgingarra. Val was widowed in 1996 after she and Ron had retired to Mandurah. Since then Val has doggedly stuck to the task of finally completing this publication, A Piece of Good Land.