While University took me to the city, I knew I was destined to return to regional Australia. I grew up on a remote cattle station in Central Queensland, two hours from the nearest major town. I cherish the lifestyle I was privileged to have throughout my childhood.
The sheer natural beauty of regional Australia, its people, their passion and pride for their communities constantly energises me and I couldn’t see myself living a life where I don’t have access and connection to the regions or the people.
I have lived in metro cities (Melbourne and Brisbane), regional centres, small country towns and a remote cattle station; there is just something special about regional Australia. It can be a real slice of paradise.
Regional communities are filled with hard working, down to earth people who often work to extremes to keep their communities alive.
Many women in regional areas don’t have sufficient opportunities to network with others in their industry, where they can speak with others who may be facing the same business or personal challenges.
In Central and North East Victoria, I’ve been fortunate to be a co-founder of a ‘Women in Ag’ networking group that provides a forum for women to share experiences, form meaningful relationships and foster friendships along the way.
“Community and connection can be the difference in a person making a region a home
and having true quality of life.”
I have experienced first-hand how challenging it can be moving to a new region and how important those community connections are in making you feel welcome and putting your mind at ease.
Being able to connect to others can provide a boost when things are hard and for most of rural Australia, the past few years have been really tough with drought, fires and now the pandemic.
Community events and field days can be the one chance some people have to get away from the farm - even just for a few hours - to catch up with people and enjoy social interaction.
For those in really remote locations, these events may be the only in-person interaction they have for weeks. It is so important to have these opportunities, particularly for women, as women can do from up to 2-3 “full time” roles, especially if they are raising a family on a farm.
It’s a good chance to fill your cup up again with laughter, connections, shared experiences and just knowing you have others around you that get what you are going through is a comfort.