First, agriculture still has an important niche role in the economy; it still feeds us, with around 93% of Australia’s food grown here. Second, the one-third of Australians who live in regional Australia are our fellow citizens, and they should not suffer inferior services because of the expenses of distance. Third, there is our obligation to inhabit the land in order to care for it. Indigenous Australians have always known this, and so do many others who live on the land… The promise of federation was a nation for a continent.
To be able to donate money to effect change is extremely exciting. I think I’m very determined and persistent. All the things that you need to deliver a successful business and I think these qualities will be useful in the campaign with the Animal Justice Fund.
Generally I’m very supportive of farmers. I think the wider Australian population is also. The animal justice fund is focusing on factory-farmed animals and where they’re being mistreated.
These are things I’d never seen before, they were very disturbing and they were very compelling to try and do something to change the situation for the animals. Farm animals are providing us with the food to stay alive, so I think we really owe them a decent life while they are alive.
Be true to yourself, fight for what you believe in, care for others and our land, venture without fear into new territory, and never give up, even in the face of apparently insurmountable odds.
It is our spirit which brings to life our whole being; if we are spiritually drained and depleted it is very difficult to remain positive in difficult times. In our contemporary lifestyle material goods are necessary to provide temporary relief but are not sustainable, as they will never be enough.
I know what obstacles they (rural women) have to overcome to achieve their goals, such as the tyranny of distance, isolation and lack of services – government agencies, closure of financial institutions, limited educational opportunities, and the need to live away from home for medical treatment, often without any family members to support them. Many of our rural women are achieving great things but to them it is in the ordinariness of their day-to-day living. They do not see the obstacles; they see only the challenges and solutions.
People say to us how brave we are, fighting the wilderness, braving the isolation of the Outback. But these are easy opponents, compared with drought. To watch your land shrivel and die, year in and year out, to see beautiful fields turn to dust bowls, to watch your animals starve and die. To suffer all this, only to be then washed away in a flood, your home and your family treasures lost and destroyed. And then to pick up the pieces and start again. The farmers of the South are brave!
One thing I’ve learned from my short time trying to be a farmer is that our farmers have to be the bravest, most optimistic people in the world. To go back to the land year after year, after what nature throws at them and the world economy does to their income, takes a special kind of person.
I love the fact I’m working with my hands and producing something, but you’ve got to be mentally fit to survive it… Rural Victoria is slowly dying, communities are getting smaller, support is getting less. But every day the sun comes up. You just get back into it and do it.