Aussie Helpers providing mental health care

July 18, 2018

Having survived his own battle with depression after losing the farm, Brian Egan took the advice to “help someone worse off than himself” to heart in a big way. His charity Aussie Helpers provides both practical assistance to farmers battling drought and mental health guidance where it is desperately needed.

Kendi Burness-Cowan speaks with Brian about the Virtual Psychologist, a mental health program aimed at giving accessible mental health support to farmers in regional Australia. Mental health training and support is also provided to all Aussie Helper volunteers who visit the farmers. Where relevant, the local community-based services are linked in to provide ongoing care.


Community response healing the Clarence Valley

July 11, 2018

In 2015, things were not great in the Clarence Valley. Suicide rates were three times the national average. The youth suicide rate was especially high.

It was a time of grief and despair for the community – but instead of burying themselves in that grief, the people of the region came together to look for solutions.

This week Kendi Burness-Cowan speaks with Sue Hughes, Project Co-ordinator for Our Healthy Clarence, a community led program to better address mental health issues in region. And it’s working. Sue talks about how listening to the community and focusing on wellbeing, hope and resilience have helped turn things around.


Ageing well in regional Australia

July 4, 2018

This week Kendi Burness-Cowan speaks with Dr Rachel Winterton, from the John Richards Centre for Rural Ageing Research. Rachel has long been interested in what it means to grow older, and particularly what it means to grow older in regional and rural Australia.

Rachel has studied the role of place, the importance of community and the need for belonging in facilitating healthy ageing and the good news is that she thinks there are plenty of positive aspects to ageing.

Listen as Rachel shares her thoughts on what individuals, communities and governments can do to help us all enjoy a happier, healthier older age.


Innovation and Agri-business success

June 28, 2018

This week Kendi Burness-Cowan speaks with Greg Bradfield, managing director of Musselroe Beef, a progressive, privately owned cattle breeding, backgrounding and cropping business, situated in the North East of Tasmania. The business grazes over 5,000 head of cattle in the peak spring season.

Musselroe Beef has $17 million worth of assets under the management of its strategic board, which has an innovative culture and commitment to relationships and governance.

Greg discusses technology and growth including developments in AI research and software directly connecting farmers with their accountants and bankers.

Genuine benefits for WA producers

June 21, 2018

As the demand for great produce continues to grow around the world, branding has become more important than ever. This week Kendi Burness-Cowan speaks with Bevan Eatts, Executive Chairman of the Southern Forests Food Council. Bevan discusses the investment in and the passion of the 280 producers behind Genuinely Southern Forests. 

Raising the profile of the region’s diverse producers has strengthened the region’s economy by opening domestic and export opportunities. Already the Genuinely Southern Forests brand has proven a hit in metro Perth, but Bevan has his eye on even bigger goals.

What does the future hold for agri Co-ops?

June 14, 2018

This week we’re chatting with Greg McNamara from Norco Dairy Cooperative about what it takes to be a member focused group without losing sight of the bottom line. Greg has been a director of Norco for 20 years and he runs a 300 head dairy just outside Lismore. He talks with Kendi Burness-Cowan about the co-operative’s role on behalf of its collective of farmers and some of the challenges facing the industry.


Fiona puts the fun back into fundraising

June 6, 2018

When Fiona Hall married and moved to Buckrabanyule in Victoria, she found some friends and set up a casual theatre group. They came up with the idea of doing plays for community groups in the region, helping the community group fundraise and ensuring an audience for their plays. Two seasons and twelve performances later, the group has helped schools, clubs and other community groups bring people together and raise money for local initiatives and causes.

Flying into job opportunities

May 31, 2018

Today on the program we talk to Kimberley Baird from Djarindjin Airport on the Dampier Peninsula, which is 170km north of Broome in WA. The airport has become one of a kind in Australia as it is fully staffed and managed by local indigenous workers. For the tiny community, the airport offers jobs and, maybe even more importantly, the chance to address drug and alcohol challenges. Kimberley has brought in a range of support services to help his team deal with drugs and alcohol, and he’s coupled it with a very strict zero tolerance policy.


Working remotely in regional Australia

May 24, 2018

We all know that one of the biggest challenges in regional Australia is attracting good staff to small towns. But what if you didn’t have to? What if you could take on great staff wherever they are? 

Verity Morgan-Schmidt, CEO of Farmers for Climate Action works remotely from her home in Cooroy, QLD, and manages a team who all work remotely in regional areas all over Australia. She says it’s not for everyone, but in the right circumstances it can be ideal.

Job creation in the regions

May 15, 2018

Will Barton, CEO of Gundagai Meat Processors (GMP) joins us this week to chat about community and creating jobs. One of GMP’s biggest milestones during Will’s tenure has been the announcement of a A$30 million expansion. He chats to Kendi about how this is set to double the size of the business in the next 12 to 18 months and increase its staff from 180 to 255.

Gateway to training

May 11, 2018

This week we speak with Esme Cairns about her and her team’s work creating employment opportunities for those most in need in south west Queensland.

With a very personalised approach, Gateway to Training’s three major programs – Get Set for Work, Steady Ready Go! And Transition to Work - are making a powerful difference to both employers and employees in the region. Employers are gaining better skilled workers and people who need help finding new directions are given the opportunity to focus their efforts toward a more fruitful employment path.

The future of regional employment

May 3, 2018

This week we speak with Ray Johnson about why there are so many great career opportunities in agribusiness – and how there are not enough skilled people to fill them. Kendi has an interesting chat with Ray about current and future trends in rural employment, and what it will take for people to realise how far agribusiness could take them.

Everything’s coming up… tulips!

April 25, 2018

This week we speak with Tasmanian tulip grower Dave Roberts-Thomson. Dave's family provide the star attraction - a paddock full of beautiful array of tulips - at the annual Bloomin’ Tulips festival in Wynyard, Tasmania. The town organises additional festivities from markets to cocktail parties and even a Mayoral Ball, ensuring a flow of tourism every year and longevity to the town’s small businesses.

How do we make farm machinery smarter?

April 19, 2018

This week we speak with Andrew Bate, who together with his wife Jocie, have been creating innovative robotic technology for the agricultural industry. In the race for increased production and efficiency, farm machinery continues to get bigger to answer the demand for greater capacity. But what if we stopped making farm machinery bigger and just made it smarter? Andrew chats with Kendi Burness-Cowan about the philosophy behind the Bate’s venture, and how he sees it furthering the future of agriculture in regional Australia.

Regional reinvention with Broken Hill’s mayor

April 12, 2018

Darriea Turley discusses the opportunities that renewable energy bring to Broken Hill, NSW, and how those opportunities led to the development of a 53 megawatt solar farm and the new 200 megawatt Silverton wind farm.