What does a farmer look like? Changing the perception of Aussie farmers.

Two women from Eugowra in central-west New South Wales are receiving a lot of interest on social media for their project: What does a farmer look like?

They’ve started a year-long campaign to recreate Australians’ perceptions of farmers and agriculture.

Project founder Kim Storey said she was spurred into action after typing the phrase into Google.

“So I just typed into Google exactly that — What does a farmer look like?” she said.

“The results were of old men with beards and checked shirts, bib and brace overalls, holding a pitchfork.

“For anyone not involved in agriculture, if they do a search to try and get an idea of what farming is about, the perception is totally unrealistic.”

Over the next 12 months, Kim Storey and her graphic designer friend, Cassie Gates want to travel Australia photographing and interviewing farmers from all agricultural industries and put their stories into a hardcover book.

“We have done that so that we can hopefully get around to everybody and get shots while everyone is harvesting,” Ms Storey said.

“At the moment we are focusing on stone fruit and cherries to be followed by grain harvest and so on.”

They have also started building a community on Facebook and Instagram so farmers could recommend themselves or other farmers as subjects.

“We’ve only just put it out there in the last two weeks and the interest has been huge,” Ms Storey said.

not-all-farmers-are-wearing-checked-shirts-and-overalls

Ms Storey has always been involved in agriculture in some way. She grew up on a fine wool property near Bathurst in central-west New South Wales, went to University at Orange Agricultural College, and worked for Elders for 12 years.

But her other passion is photography.

“I have wanted to do a photographic book for a while so this is the perfect project because I am fulfilling that desire as well as getting the truth about what farmers really do out there,” she said.

Her partner Cassie Gates, was born and bred in Eugowra, where she returned home to after pursuing graphic design studies in Sydney.

“We want to make it a happy book celebrating all those great things about the land.

“I don’t come from a farming background, so I am interested to see what everyone is doing and educate my children as well that you don’t have to be of a certain stereotype to be farmer.”

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Government releases Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper

Excerpt below taken from Australian Government’s ‘White Paper at a Glance’

Stronger farmers, stronger economy

Agriculture has always played an important role in the success of our nation—it touches all Australians.

The Government is committed to strengthening the sector and ensuring it remains as competitive as possible, because stronger farmers mean a stronger Australian econ​omy.

The opportunities for the sector are enormous. We sit on the edge of the strongest growing region in the world, have a developed agriculture sector, have world-class food safety and environmental credentials, possess modern technology, have a strong economy and employ skilled labour.

The agriculture sector is well placed to prosper.

For the past 18 months the Government has listened to the challenges that farmers are facing and discussed what is required for them to be successful on the land. From this feedback we h​ave developed the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

The White Paper outlines the initiatives and commitments by the Australian Government for each of our five priority areas for action. It is a $4 billion investment in our farmers.

For more details on the White Paper, visit the Government’s dedicated page here.

To download the White Paper click here.

Growth and liveability in the Australian regional towns: A Case Study of Mackay, Queensland

Growth and liveability in the Australian regional towns: MackayThe main driver behind the growth of Australian regional towns, especially of those in Queensland and Western Australia, is the continuous development of resources such as coal industry boom.  This study undertook three growth indicators such as population trend, labour force movement and gross state products to characterise the growth of a regional city in Queensland, Mackay, which has been affected by coal mining boom in the central Queensland region since 2000.  Then the study undertook a large scale survey to understand the regional liveability, including the liveability of Mackay. The study found that the liveability of Mackay did not match with the level of growth in and around the city, and the condition of economic and environmental capitals is better than that of human and social capitals.  Therefore, the priority areas to increase the liveability within this city are to increase the human development services such as education, training and health facilities and to improve social cohesion and community empowerment.

The findings from this study are replicable to other similar regional towns in Australia or internationally where the city has a mix of mining services, agricultural trading and tourism activities.

The main driver behind the growth of Australian regional towns, especially of those in Queensland and Western Australia, is the continuous development of resources such as coal industry boom. The characterisation of these regional towns is important for planning and development of respective region. Mackay is one of the regional towns in Queensland, which has been affected by the resource booms in the northern Bowen Basin region . The purpose of this paper is to present a growth scenario of Mackay and relate this scenario with the regional liveability.

The paper “Growth and liveability in the Australian regional towns” has been peer reviewed and was published in the Book of Proceedings.  It was authored by Delwar Akbar, Lindsay Greer and John Rolfe from the Centre for Environmental Management, CQ University.

You can download the full paper here: Growth and liveability in the Australian regional towns