Livestock, lasers and life on the land

November 15, 2017
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Fleur McDonald is one of Australia’s best known authors, and is particularly well loved by readers in rural and regional Australia, who enjoy the authentic regional settings of her stories. 

This week Fleur tells Kendi Burness-Cowan her fascinating tale of shadowing the Queensland Police Major & Organised Crime Squad (Rural).  

In the country, we tend to think we’re relatively safe from crime, but as Fleur found, this isn’t always the case.  

In this great interview she talks everything from stock theft to laser beams to cyber crime – and tells us about her plans for her beloved character Detective Dave Burrows.

Safety from the ground up

November 8, 2017
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This week we’re joined by Dr Randall Greenberg, the Chief Medical Officer of the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s South Eastern section. He shares some of the cases he’s seen and how keeping his own team safe is his first priority, as they deal with everything from remote airstrips to wayward kangaroos. He also talks about how keeping safe in this huge country of ours takes a bit of planning and a bit of common sense, especially when you realise that if you do get into trouble, medical care could be several hours away.

The question of quadbikes

November 1, 2017
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Charles Armstrong, farmer and Chair of Farmsafe Australia, talks to Regional Voices about quadbike hazards on farms and why he's advocating that safety needs to come before convenience.

After the fire comes the rain

October 25, 2017
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In July 2015, Woorinen in Victoria was hit hard when their sporting clubrooms were destroyed by fire. Sport is such a pivotal part of social cohesiveness in regional communities and especially in Woorinen, where a day out watching the kids have a hit, catching up with friends and volunteering at the canteen is a weekly fixture for many families.

President of the Woorinen Cricket Club, Dean Morpeth, spoke with Kendi Burness-Cowan about the importance of sport in this thriving community and how locals banded together to rebuild both their clubrooms and their club.

Limestone Coast Regional Sporting Academy

October 18, 2017
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This week we hear about a new initiative in regional South Australia that gives a group of selected young athletes access to elite trainers. Tony Elletson, Coordinator at the Limestone Coast Regional Sporting Academy, says that for people in the area, this kind of access to specially trained coaches is largely hindered by distance, and the program will give the opportunity to develop their sporting talent as well as give them the skills required to make it in professional sport.

By George, is this our new polo champion?

October 11, 2017
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We chat with George Hill this week – one of the players representing Australia in this month’s World Polo Championship being held from the 21st to the 29th of October. 

It’s been a long and winding road for George and his love for the game of polo. He currently lives near Mitchell, QLD and manages a cattle property, but in order to play George will travel 5 hours south to North Star in NSW. George has recently arrived in Windsor, NSW, to prepare with the Australian team for the World Championship.

George took some time out from training to talk to us about his dedication to polo, being selected for the World Championship, and the adventures he’s been on so far – including some years working for the Packer family’s Ellerston stables.

This month's Regional Voices is supported by Commonwealth Bank.

Passion for AFL in the Pilbara

October 4, 2017
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AFL is a community sport – it brings people together and, for communities in the Pilbara, acts like a social glue. AFL Regional Development Manager for the region, Vicki Agnew, sees it as a tool to help with social issues and has an important role in helping empower young women and men in the area. It also gives the older generation a sense of purpose and pride through their own involvement.

The Orange Women’s Shed

September 28, 2017
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The Women's Shed in Orange equips women to learn new skills and rely on themselves for household maintenance and projects. Many of the members are older women who had previously relied on their husbands to take care of tasks from replacing tiles to fixing broken cupboards.
 
Fiona tells Kendi Burness-Cowan about empowering older women who are living on their own and encouraging those wanting to learn new skills.
 
This episode previously aired in 2016, and this month is supported by the Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia. 

Piloting a new path

September 21, 2017
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This week we speak with Anne Lewis, someone who is truly inspirational.

Anne forged a career that was worlds away from the paths most other women were on, first as a pilot in the Women’s Air Force and later as one of very few female commercial pilots. Now 90 and living in Burnie, Tasmania, she is still actively involved with the local aeroclub, including regular jaunts in a plane.

Anne chatted with Kendi Burness-Cowan about some of her adventures and why she thinks age and gender should not be a barrier to choosing what is important in life.

From electrician to social worker to blacksmith

September 13, 2017
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This week we speak with Dave Walker, a man who started his working life as an electrician, became a social worker, tried retirement for three weeks then at 67 opened up a blacksmithing business in Cargo, New South Wales. 

Dave talks about the need for sharing skills with young people and why a backyard across the road from a pub is the perfect spot for his business.

 

Field day leaders

September 6, 2017
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Ross Edwards tells us how signing on as a car parking attendant in 1966 led to him to his current position as chair of the Henty Machinery Field Days in NSW. 

The growth of regional business

August 30, 2017
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Yarra Valley Dairy CEO, Caroline Evans, talks to us this week about new jobs that open up as regional businesses grow and the challenges of casual workforces in regional areas.

The dairy produces fresh gourmet cheeses using milk produced by cows grazing the Yarra flats. The cheesemaking operation started in the owner’s kitchen but today the business has about 20 employees and sells across Australia as well as moving into global markets.

It’s a great example of how small operators in regional Victoria have built their market position based on local quality.

Big science in little communities

August 24, 2017
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Jan Devlin, CEO of the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory based outside the tiny town of Gingin in Western Australia, talks to Regional Voices about the amazing work that happens at the facility and the cool jobs that go with it. 

The centre is doing world class science on out-of-this world topics like gravitational waves, with a roster of staff that includes physicists and even an astronomer.

The Discovery Centre also gives travellers, families and students the chance to see some of their work and to look at the universe in a whole new way – while sparking excitement and passion for science and technology jobs.

Kings Creek Station

August 16, 2017
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300km from Alice Springs is Kings Creek Station. Managed by Ian Conway, the station is a great example of a business that finds new prospects and creates new employment opportunities in regional Australia. As well as running cattle, Kings Creek operates a tourist venture including accommodation for campers, glampers and long-term stays.

Ian speaks to Kendi about how Kings Creek finds staff, what it’s like to work in a place where you can’t go home at the end of the day, and how a stint on an outback station can teach skills that last a lifetime.

The future of regional communities

August 10, 2017
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This week we talk to Senator Fiona Nash, Deputy Leader of the National Party. Hailing from rural New South Wales, Senator Nash is currently the federal Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Regional Communications, and Minister for Local Government and Territories. We covered regional employment, mobile connectivity, and the importance of education in regional areas to ensure Australia’s growth and global competitiveness.