STORIES FROM THE STICKS
Featuring stories celebrating the people, creativity, life and energy in regional Australia
All works published must comply with the Rural Room Editorial Guidelines
bY HELEN CARPENTER, NEW SOUTH WALES - BASED MEDIA STRINGER
People the world over recognise the daffodil as the flower that represents hope, rebirth and new beginnings. The daffodil is recognised internationally as the symbol of the Cancer Council in countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and England. The daffodil emblem is used to raise awareness and critical funds in the research and fight against Cancer.
FINDING CONNECTION IN THE COUNTRY
BY HAYLEY DAWSON, VICTORIA - BASED MEDIA STRINGER
I frequently hear that the two most difficult things women living in the country face, are the long distances they have to travel and the feelings of aloneness, due to isolation. Well I hear you. I completely understand both issues. Every single week I travel over 1000kms around the country side, today alone I drove into town twice as I was running around doing jobs for the farmer. That’s a total of three hours in the car - imagine all the blog posts I could have written in that time! Thank goodness for podcasts and audiobooks!
RSPCA CUPCAKE DAY- 19 AUGUST 2019
BY PETULA SAVIN (COUSIN BILLIE), VICTORIA - BASED MEDIA STRINGER
Did someone skip lunch? Need an excuse to cheat on their diet? Or was it just a stroke of genius?
Regardless of how it came about, “any excuse for a cupcake” is the motto of life’s greatest people, and RSPCA’s annual fundraising event certainly is a paw-some idea! The event began in 2008 to raise money for animal welfare services, and at the time of writing; this year’s campaign had raised over $382,000! The teams on top of the leader board for 2019 are TriCab and Krispy Kreme with a combined effort of $10,050, followed closely by the Bayside Dog Owner’s Group.
FESTIVAL SHOWCASES ARTISTIC APPETITE IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA
BY HELEN CARPENTER, NEW SOUTH WALES - BASED MEDIA STRINGER
Festivals are an important part of country and community life in Australia. They bring local communities together, they reconnect people with their community, attract visitors and they promote the local area and its benefits to a wide audience. They also provide local community groups and businesses with an opportunity to showcase their products, which often generates economic return to the local community. Festivals boost local pride, a sense of place, and serve to remind visitors that life in regional areas is positive, entrepreneurial, creative and contemporary.
LITTLE LIFE LESSONS FROM A LEFT-HANDER
BY AMANDA BARLOW, NEW SOUTH WALES-BASED MEDIA STRINGER
Left Handers Day celebrates the unique differences of left handers every year on August 13. On this special day I thought I’d share my personal left hander life lessons, dedicated to all my fellow left handers the world over!
Sheepvention WOOL HANDLING COMPETITION
SUE CARRISON, VICTORIA- BASED MEDIA STRINGER
A lot of fun was had watching the teams at work on Sunday at Sheepvention in Hamilton, Victoria. It was great to watch! I captured a snap shot of the action to share the behind the scenes fun!
EMILY RIGGS, SOUTH AUSTRALIAN-based Media Stringer
This week, among all the fun of Sheepvention, we’re shining the spotlight on merino wool champion and fashion designer extraordinaire, Emily Riggs of Iris and Wool . Emily’s line and elegant knitwear range is the perfect go-to for women the world over. Not only is it Australian made and ethically produced, but it also heroes the first-class fibre, merino wool…get to know Emily in our quick catch up below and then head to her site to stock the wardrobe with some of her gorgeous garments!
Raising the Baa on Fashion - Sheepvention 2019
Petula Savin, VICTORIA- BASED MEDIA STRINGER
Now in its 41st year, Hamilton’s annual Sheepvention event is once again drawing large crowds to Victoria’s South West this week.
From farmers to fashion designers, the three-day show is focused on Australian wool, with events such as a wool handling competition, sheep show, and a ram sale.
National Tree Day 2019
dorothy Henderson, western Australian- based Media Stringer
It’s a bright winter day in the small town of Ravensthorpe, in the south-east of Western Australia. There is a gentle commotion in the yard surrounding the school in the centre of the town, as a 4WD and a tidy trailer pulls up outside the school. The Ravensthorpe District High School gardener and community stalwart Don Green is there to greet Antoinette Vincent from Esperance Farm Trees.
Megan Woodward, Queensland-based Media Stringer
The Burdekin is on fire this time of year.
It's the only sugar cane growing region in Australia that still burns cane, as opposed to harvesting it. It's a sight, a sound, a smell that is intrinsically north Queensland and, a little like your first love, your first cane fire is impossible to forget.
It's entrancing and beautiful and overwhelming and is a practice that's part of the fabric of this tiny rural area, a little over an hour south of Townsville – made up of towns like Home Hill, Ayr and Brandon.
It’s amongst the sugar cane and the fires and the cane toads that Laurence Pavone grew up. And with his wife Julie he’s built a life, a family … and a fire, all of his own.
FLEECES, FARMERS, FASHION – SHEEPVENTION 2019
Sheepvention is the largest agricultural show in Victoria attracting over 25,000 visitors each year to the one-of-a-kind event. Executed by the Hamilton Pastoral and Agricultural Society, Sheepvention 2019 kicks off this Sunday, bringing together farmers, fleece and fashion enthusiasts for the three-day event.
National Farm Safety Week
HAYLEY DAWSON INTERVIEWS ALEX TAYLOR
National Farm Safety Week, is coordinated annually in July to raise awareness of the importance of farm safety across Australia. The week provides an opportunity for Farmsafe Australia to address farm safety issues that have a national focus. There is no-one better placed to speak about this topic than Alex Thomas, Founder and Director of a business focused on people, safety and sustainability. Alex is an authority in the space, and a truly inspirational rural woman with over 13 years’ experience helping businesses, “re-calibrate the value proposition of work health and safety from ‘box-ticking’ to empowering people, reducing risk and ultimately preventing people from getting hurt.”
COUNTRY LIFE TIDBITS
BY KATE RUTTER
In this day and digital age, we often take information for granted, we can Google, search and swipe. But what about all the gems of knowledge that are hidden in our heads that we should hand down?
WARM WINTER VEGGIE SALAD
COLLABORATION BETWEEN HAYLEY DAWSON (RECIPE & WORDS) AND ROSIE HENDERSON (PHOTOGRAPHS)
Winter is definitely in full swing here in Western Victoria with the fresh icy mornings and cold, howling wind! But I love winter for many reasons - the sound of rain on the tin roof as you go to sleep, the bright of green grass extending across the rolling hills, baby lambs frolicking and the joy of rugging up in a coat and RM Williams boots to head to the local footy.
VOICE TREATY TRUTH - NAIDOC WEEK 2019
EMILY RIGGS INTERVIEWS AMANDA WESTLEY
This week artist Amanda Westley generously shared with me what NAIDOC week represents to her and her community. Amanda is from Victor Harbor, in South Australia, and has a deep connection with country, especially water. Her people are the Ngarrindjeri people, who are the traditional custodians of the lower Murray River, Coorong and western Fleurieu Peninsula.
COUNTRY LIFE TIDBITS
CONCEPT BY KATE RUTTER
As a child, standing on a stool next to Grandmother watching her work dough with her experienced hands, all you’re really thinking about is eating the leftover scraps of pastry! Tasting that delicious apple and rhubarb pie fresh from the oven is probably a vivid memory. But what doesn’t register when you’re young, is that Grandma might have had the secret to the perfect pastry in her head, a simple but effective step that was never written on paper…
WATER BRINGS ALL THE BEES TO THE BAR!
TALES FROM MY WORLD, BY NELLE CHAPMAN
It’s another sunny day out and the temperature starts to creep up again after another hot uncomfortable night. As I wander around my garden to check on whatever is left standing as this long drought continues, I find myself at the pond in the east garden. Made from an old bath nestled in the native garden, the pond is a haven for wildlife.
INTERVIEW WITH AUSTRALIAN TEXTILE ARTIST CAROLINE SHARKEY
HELEN CARPENTER TALKS WITH TEXTILE ARTIST CAROLINE SHARKEY.
Here at Rural Room we love anything and everything creative so naturally we love textile artists! We were very fortunate to be treated to an intimate interview with Australian Textile artist Caroline Sharkey.
STEM SKILLS SHAPING THE NEXT GENERATION OF FEMALE FARMERS
WORDS BY MAGGIE MARSHALL
A new generation of confident, well-educated young women are positioning themselves as key players in Australian agriculture by applying their skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to give them a competitive edge.
STILL WATERS RUN DEEP FOR NARROGIN ARTIST
IMAGES AND STORY SUPPLIED BY OUR PARTNER, THE CREATIVE GRID
Narrogin artist, Casey Thornton, creates a rare opportunity for visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of their modern lives to relish a moment of peaceful calm and reflection.
‘Quietude’ at Nexis Gallery, Narrogin, during May.
INTERNATIONAL TEA DAY
By Dorothy Henderson
The cups are empty: obviously time for another brew! As I sip on a freshly brewed cup of Australian grown tea on the veranda of our home, overlooking paddocks that are parched and bleached beach sand white by the summer sun, I contemplate the role of tea in our lives, and in the lives of many people around the world.
THE NOBLE ONES
Written and photographed by Dorothy Henderson
It is 4.50am. Hooves shuffle quietly in the dark, seemingly muffled by the blackness. Flashlights and headlamps move slowly around a small cluster of horse floats and cars parked on a portion of unseasonably green grass in the middle of Esperance. Gentle laughter sprinkles in the cold air as leather straps are pulled tight over boots, girths are buckled; spurs jingle and bits tinkle as horses and riders prepare for the town’s annual ANZAC Day Dawn Service.
EATING FOR AUTUMN
By Hayley Dawson, Naturopath
The mornings are getting colder, the leaves are falling from our trees and Autumn is in full swing! As a naturopath and nutritionist, I like to educate my community as much as possible about the importance of seasonally eating.
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY DOROTHY HENDERSON
Horses stand calmly by the gate into the metal fenced yard, watching the single horse and rider inside as they deftly single a black calf out from a bunch of Angus weaners which drifts from one end of the yard to another. People milling around comment on the quality of the cattle, and that fact that they are so quiet and well handled.
THE ART OF RECONCILIATION: ADNATE AND A WALL THAT TELLS A STORY
BY DOROTHY HENDERSON. PHOTOGRAPHS BY DOROTHY HENDERSON AND ESPERANCE COMMUNITY ARTS
In the south east of Western Australia a bland brick wall has been transformed into a significant work of art during a process intentionally designed to heal and reconcile, using story and imagery to bind Indigenous and non-Indigenous people as they live together in one country.
INNOVATIVE EXHIBITION SERIES BREAKS NEW GROUND IN REGIONAL WA
Creative Grid Feature- images and story supplied by our Partner, THE CREATIVE GRID
Artists, curators, photographers and arts organisations from communities across regional WA are creating a legacy of positive impact for the State through the collaborative development of a ground-breaking series of fourteen inter-connected exhibitions titled ‘The Alternative Archive’.
THE PRESENCE OF WOOL - AN IMMERSIVE AND QUIRKY LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF WOOL IN ALBANY!
Photographed by Bob Symons. STORY PROVIDED BY AUSDANCE (WA)
We’ve been busy finalising the Rain Dance script and we know Rural Roomies are very excited for us to get moving so we can screen the series in select shearing sheds around regional Australia! However, if you’re in Western Australia, you’ve got a unique opportunity this weekend to watch a LIVE dance in a secret shearing shed in an exclusive performance of The Presence of Wool!
SILO SPECTACULAR IN THE STICKS - FEATURING THE 26TH PUBLIC ART SILO FEATURE IN AUSTRALIA
STORY, PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEO CREATED AND SUPPLIED BY HELEN CARPENTER
The Australian Silo Art Trail was conceived in 2015 in the Western Australian town of Northam through a creative collaboration between leading cultural organisation, FORM, and CBH, the grain grower cooperative group. The creative trend travelled interstate to Victoria when the town of Wimmera-Mallee launched six evocative pieces of public art on silos. The positive community response inspired many towns Australia-wide to adopt the public art initiative. The Australian Silo Art Trail has since grown extensively and enables a unique opportunity to connect regional communities through art.
ART TRANSFORMS LIFE FOR ALBANY SCIENTIST
Creative Grid Feature- images and story supplied by our Partner, THE CREATIVE GRID
Albany artist, Chelsea Hopkins-Allan, celebrates the beauty and diversity of moths from the Great Southern region in her exhibition, MOTH, at the Vancouver Arts Centre.
MUSIC IN THE VINES 2019
Interview by Bec Bignell with festival Founder, Pieter Badenhorst
Pieter Badenhorst is a master at everything he lends his hand to. By day, he’s a Senior Research Scientist in plant breeding, tasked with developing and validating new technologies in agriculture. By night, he’s a brewer, winemaker and music festival Director, dedicated to making the Music in the Vines Festival a stand out event for the Macarthur community! Coordinated on his vineyard, Suffoir Winery, the festival is a huge drawcard for the local region and Pieter puts his heart and soul into producing it every year. I caught up with Pieter to learn more about this fantastic festival, it’s a must attend event on March 2. If you haven’t secured your tickets yet, get onto it today because there are some very special inclusions this year! Read on to find out more…