Folk like caring Jess are our regional heroes

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Jess Cook saves the day - and the office car- from the barbed wire.
Camera IconJess Cook saves the day - and the office car- from the barbed wire. Credit: Jacinta Cantatore/Jacinta Cantatore.

I was up in Perth at the weekend and, as usual, it took less than an hour before I was sick of the city.

The traffic, the crowds, the drivers and the lack of smiling faces as you walk down the street. Did I mention the traffic?

Perth is a lovely city, but I feel a big sense of relief when I am back home in the South West.

I reckon it has something to do with the great people down here.

And the great people are why I love regional journalism and its rollercoaster highs and lows.

There are days when I cry because the news is just so bad.

Each time I report on a death or a tragedy, I go home and hug my kids very tight.

The tragedies may not directly impact me but I would be lying if I said they didn’t affect me.

Maybe some people can compartmentalise between their work and their home life so they don’t feel this deeply, but I am definitely not one of them, nor do I want to be.

If we don’t feel those lows, then we don’t get to feel the highs either.

Like meeting absolute legend Jess Cook.

She is without a doubt one of the most kind-hearted, generous and genuine people I have ever met.

Within minutes of meeting me she was already under my company car and helping out.

In the last 30 centimetres of my drive to meet her I had somehow managed to run over a length of rusted barbed wire.

Jess Cook and I trying to get the wire off the car.
Camera IconJess Cook and I trying to get the wire off the car.

The tyres were fine but the wire got caught around the wheel shaft thingy (cars are not my field of expertise).

Without hesitation, it was Jess to the rescue.

Using a pair of pliers from her car she freed mine in a matter of minutes.

She had been collecting rubbish from the layover bay where we met and apologised for not cleaning up the wire.

Jess Cook saves the day — and the office car — from some barbed wire.
Camera IconJess Cook saves the day — and the office car — from some barbed wire.

If you see her out on the roadside cleaning up litter, give her a wave.

People like Jess embody that sense of community and togetherness that makes the regions such a great place to live.

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