Regional Voices
Bridging the city/country divide

Bridging the city/country divide

July 4, 2019

As a teenager, Kiwi Alice Mabin narrowly survived a horse-riding accident that left her in a coma for 3 weeks. After this brush with death, Alice knew she had been given a second chance. She took up a job as a jillaroo in the Riverina, where she fell in love with Australia.

After many twists of fate Alice walked into a photographic shop and bought her very first camera and once again she found herself on the cusp of a new adventure, this one involving 551 rural properties across Australia and the creation of her photo books, The Grower series.

The images and content are designed to resonate with all Australians and share the stories of agriculture with the next generation.

Kendi Burness-Cowan talks to Alice about her latest work, and how she is getting these books into as many schools around Australia as she can. 

Silo art revitalising regional towns

Silo art revitalising regional towns

June 6, 2019

When Jacqui Coleman and her partner Mark decided to buy the local hotel in a tiny Victorian town called Goorambat they never expected to be serving over 100 meals on a Sunday just two years later, all thanks to a revival in street art.

With this new interest in street art Goorambat the tiny town of approximately 200 people has expanded local businesses and provided vital employment opportunities for its residents.

Kendi Burness-Cowan talks to Jacqui about how Silo art has captured the imagination and hearts of travelers all over Australia. Have you visited any of the now the famous Australian Silo trails? What did you think of the amazing art and the stories behind the paintings you visited? Let us know on our Facebook page and don’t forget to subscribe to the Regional Voices podcast.

Fashioning social change

Fashioning social change

May 1, 2019

How did a lawyer from Victoria combine a love of vibrant prints and the need to share indigenous stories from the remote Northern Territory, into a social enterprise and fashion label?

Maggie McGowan, co-founder of Magpie Goose, explains how she didn’t choose fashion as her next career path but rather the idea of helping to facilitate the telling of stories and culture through textiles. This change of direction for her has resulted in the creation of a smart, social business that is producing income generating opportunities for people in remote communities.

With Kendi Burness-Cowan, Maggie discusses how simple clothing cuts and eye-catching designs have become wearable artworks that tell a story.

Does Australia have enough water?

Does Australia have enough water?

April 3, 2019

Water is a hot topic in our currently drought affected country. Do we have enough water? How do we balance the needs of both agriculture and the environment? How can we better use the water we have?

Professor Richard Kingsford, Director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science at the University of NSW, is an ecologist who has worked extensively across the wetlands and rivers of Australia. Kendi Burness-Cowan talks with Richard about what we’re getting right and what we can learn from our current situation and overseas.

Has your relationship with water changed during this drought? Have you changed the way you use or store water? Tell us about it on social media and don’t forget to subscribe to the Regional Voices podcast.

Civil engineering and other great jobs for women

Civil engineering and other great jobs for women

March 7, 2019

March 8 is international Women’s Day. In this interview, meet Michelle Verco, a Civil Engineer who has been selected as a finalist for the 2019 South Australian AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award.

Michelle says being an engineer in a rural community means every project is different and challenging. Job satisfaction comes from seeing the impact of the works that she has been a part of.

Michelle is also passionate about encouraging girls to follow in her footsteps. She talks with Kendi Burness-Cowan about why embracing science and math based subjects offers so many opportunities in modern regional Australia.

Do you know of other Women making a difference in non-traditional roles in Regional Australia? We’d love to feature some of their stories in social media so let us know. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Regional Voices podcast.

Education with no limits

Education with no limits

February 7, 2019

Melanie Meers is the Principal of Anson Street School in Orange, NSW which caters for children from Kinder to year 12 with a range of diverse learning styles. Melanie and her fabulous staff work closely with students and their families developing personalised learning plans, but this is only the beginning of the wonderful work being done at their school. Melanie tells us that living life without limits is all about what the children can achieve.

Kendi Burness Cowan talks to Melanie about how close connections with the wider community are also benefiting the students now and after they move on from Anson Street School.

Do you know a great educator in a regional school? Tell us on social media. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Regional Voices podcast.

 

 

Citizen science and the Great Barrier Reef

Citizen science and the Great Barrier Reef

December 26, 2018

This week we talk to Erin Peterson, Project Leader for Virtual Reef Diver, an important initiative that collects critical data on the health of the Great Barrier Reef through imagery. Erin explains how, with the help of everyday citizens, they are collecting and sharing data aimed at protecting and preserving our Great Barrier Reef.

Erin talks to Kendi Burness-Cowan about how this innovative approach is likely to provide more data than ever before on the reef and how you can get involved.

Let us know on social media if you are going to become a citizen scientist and don’t forget to subscribe to the Regional Voices podcast.

What do we expect from Mother Nature?

What do we expect from Mother Nature?

December 19, 2018

Australians are really into watching the weather, and none more than Agata Imielska, Senior Climatologist, at the Bureau of Meteorology. Agata turned a love of maths and science into a career that’s all about weather, using complex modelling to analyse trends and give some clues about what to expect from Mother Nature.

Kendi Burness-Cowan talks to Agata about modern weather forecasting, climatology, the outlook for 2019 and the risks we are all facing this summer.

Find Regional Voices on social media to tell us your wild and woolly weather stories, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Regional Voices podcast. 

Community embraces refugees and bushfire safety

Community embraces refugees and bushfire safety

December 12, 2018

This week we talk with CFA Volunteer Trevor Schwarz from the Victorian town of Nhill. When Nhill welcomed a refugee community into town, they had to find a way to educate the newcomers about the bushfire risks of their new home.

Kendi Burness-Cowan talks to Trevor about how making a video better connected the community and is keeping everyone safer.

Have you done your bushfire prep this year? Tell us about it on social media. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Regional Voices podcast so that you never miss one of our great stories about the real people of regional Australia.

 

One day closer to rain

One day closer to rain

December 5, 2018

This week, drought is our focus, as we talk with Merriwa beef producer Cassandra McLaren.

Cassandra made a heartfelt post on Facebook that grew into an online community of more than 30,000 members. It’s called “One Day Closer to Rain”, and it’s a place for those trying to cope with drought to share their stories, support each other and have the occasional laugh too.

Kendi Burness-Cowan talks to Cassandra about how the drought has affected her own farm, the inevitable long road to recovery and the power of connecting people.

Have you been supported through the drought by your local community or an online community? Tell us about it on social media. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Regional Voices podcast for more great stories like this.

Emergency volunteers keeping you safe

Emergency volunteers keeping you safe

November 28, 2018

Chris Draffin has been involved in responding to emergency situations for decades, and he was one of two Tasmanian recipients of the Emergency Service Medal in this year’s Australia Day Honours.

Kendi Burness-Cowan talks to Chris about the hazards of being in an emergency team, why people volunteer, and the biggest mistake Aussies continue to make in extreme conditions.

Have volunteers helped you in an emergency situation? Tell us on social media. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Regional Voices podcast to catch more episodes about the real people of regional Australia.

Farm safely, home safely

Farm safely, home safely

November 21, 2018

In 2016, six dairy farmers died at work. It was a particularly bad year, but even in a typical year, dairying is surprisingly dangerous.

This week we talk to Bill Youl from Dairy Australia about DA’s initiative, the Farm Safety kit. The kit was developed with farmers as a starting point to try and improve farm safety and lift the statistics that have not changed for the better over time.

Kendi Burness-Cowan chats to Bill about some of the major contributors to farming injuries and how implementing simple measures can often ensure everyone’s safety.

Have you made some simple changes to make your property safer? Tell us about them on social media and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast.

Regional innovation making safer roads

Regional innovation making safer roads

November 14, 2018

Australian research has shown that widened roads result in up to a 42% reduction in serious injury crashes. But around Australia lots of roads don’t have great shoulders and some have none at all. It’s a particular challenge in regional areas where funding is limited.

Now there’s a new approach, thanks to some classic Aussie inventiveness. A Wauchope based, family run company has developed a system to provide a cost effective way of making roads safer, and they’re about to take their great idea to the world.

Ashleigh Pinson tells Kendi Burness-Cowan how her dad came up with the idea for the ShoulderMaster, which enables quick and effective repairs to road shoulders.

Planting a seed for safety

Planting a seed for safety

November 7, 2018

Today we talk to Alex Thomas, a safe work campaigner who says safer farms are not about ticking boxes but about changing the culture.

Alex has started a number of initiatives on social media, including ‘plant a seed for safety’ and the rather catchy ‘save a life listen to your wife’. She wants everyone in farming, including family members who might not be out working on the property every day, to talk about safety. Alex tells Kendi Burness-Cowan how having conversations can lead to practical solutions.

Have you had a safety conversation with those around you? Get in touch on social media to let us know how it went.

 

Rob Cook: Strength and reinventing the future

Rob Cook: Strength and reinventing the future

October 31, 2018

This week we share the powerful story of Rob Cook, a fourth-generation farmer whose life was turned literally upside down in a terrifying helicopter crash.

In an instant, the future Rob had planned for him and his young family completely changed. His injury left him with quadriplegia. But after a lengthy recovery, and with the unwavering support from his wife Sarah, Rob is back on the farm.

Rob talks to Kendi Burness-Cowan about rethinking the future, his love of farming, and the world first joystick he and a friend created that lets him operate the gate and drafts in his cattle yards from his wheelchair.

Join the conversation on social media to share your thoughts on this episode.