It is with great trepidation I submit this report – after having finished reading back issues of GNV kindly ‘posted’ to me by Robin for reasons that will become apparent.
After leaving JRAHS in 1986, graduating from Hawkesbury Ag, and embarking on the mandatory travel stint I found myself not entertaining at the Belvoir (nowadays the only theatrical encounters I have are those staged at the 33 children Mallawa Public School) Nor did I find myself lobbying against Asylum Seeker policy (in fact the only protesting I do are to those who find out on first meeting I am married to a cotton farmer – who incidentally I have learned are apparently directly responsible for the environmental dilemmas we face today!). I don’t think I’ve ever had a hairdresser called Svetlana – although my multitasking skills are now honed to a fine art as I write this.
I administer Panadol to an irate 2½ year old who won’t be convinced that Petit Miam is not a food staple. Suggest strongly to my 4 year old that Ricky Lake is not an appropriate choice for an intelligent, well adjusted human being. Fill out yet another entry in a long line of school fundraising (how anyone could ever eat $223.76 worth of pies is beyond me!), all while being on hold to that Bureaucratic politically correct establishment of Land and Water Conservation.
Why not email? You ask!
Well I would if I could manage to get our dinosaur of an exchange – of which I’m sure there is, somewhere in that little shed (to which the keys have been lost by Telstra) still a stalwart of the CWA doing it all by hand - to stay “up” long enough to send one! Aah technology – we’ve managed to install a machine in the tractors which for all intent and purposes is an auto pilot requiring only a 180º turn by the operator – providing they’re still awake. Yet to make a mobile phone call we need to stand one legged while hopping up and down singing a rendition of Advance Australia Fair on top of the highest point – usually a truck or shed!
But I digress, after spending some time with the Distance Education School at Walgett, I married a wonderful man and am on a cotton/wheat farm 100kms west of Moree with 3 beautiful children Lachlan 5½, Sophie 4 and Isobel 2½. Perhaps not as glamorous or world changing as many (it seems) of my JRAHS peers but none-the-less fraught with its own challenges.
But as I watch my kids outside in the fresh air, riding their bikes in complete freedom, contemplating whether ‘Jonesy’ on the excavator will indeed finish the job that makes such a mess of our main road - given to him by my husband in his infinite wisdom with great assurances I will indeed be able to get past in time for the school bus run – I thank God we are here.
Hopefully past the worst of the ‘mother’ of all droughts and also hoping that institutions such as JRAHS are still imparting knowledge of the land, portraying the spirit we are and encouraging the intelligent, forward thinking youth we need in our dynamic agricultural industry.