More than a farmer's wife at home

When I'm not helping my husband on our farm, I work from home as a farm safety consultant helping farmers navigate regulations around workplace safety and heavy vehicle operations. I've worked in diverse business roles including banking, medical, paving/landscaping, fishing and trucking. I do a lot of volunteer work in the agriculture industry surrounding advocacy and regulation and some local volunteering at Ungarra and around the Eyre Peninsula. I have embraced agriculture and love working in this space and advocating for rural/remote communities.

As the daughter of a police officer we moved around a bit in my younger life. I was born in Whyalla but soon moved to Thevenard. I have vague memories of being there even though we left before I turned three. An early talker, I'm told by my parents I loved to talk to the operator on the 'party line' at Thevenard. Port Augusta was next, where my parents grew up, met and married; my mother is 'born and bred' Port Augusta. Next was Murray Bridge where my younger brother was born and then we built a house and moved to the Adelaide Hills.

We were there for nine years, which was the longest I had lived in one place. Then it was back to Whyalla where I finished high school, started working and saw out my teenage years. When I was 18 my parents and brother moved back to Murray Bridge and I later followed. By 25 I was living and working in the Adelaide Hills and bought myself a unit. Much of our moving over the years was made easier by the sport we did and allowed us to settle into a new town easily. My main sport was swimming, followed by netball.

I did not meet my husband Garry until late 2002. By early 2003 we started a long distance relationship and in October 2003 I moved to Port Lincoln to be closer. I worked as a personal assistant in the tuna industry for a little over a year until moving to the farm north west of Ungarra. I worked for Smith Transport for 12 months before leaving in early 2006 to have our first child Charlotte, Benjamin followed in 2008. While the children were young I studied from home, completing diplomas in rural business management and occupational health and safety.

In 2016 I was lucky to win the Safework SA Augusta Zadow Award in which my project brought together EP farm women to implement the beginnings of farm safety arrangements into their respective businesses. Last year my farm safety business was a finalist in the SA Community Achievement Awards under the Flinders University Rural Health SA Regional Achievement Award and a semi finalist for the Prime Super Agriculture Innovation Award. It was nice to be recognised for my work and I enjoy being able to provide assistance for something that farmers need help with.

We live about 50 kilometres from a shop so I do a bit of car travel like many on Eyre Peninsula. Sporting and school commitments dominate our time and daily routines as we juggle these with the grain growing calendar. I love farming challenges, there is always something to do and you need to be self motivated and organised. Working or studying from home is more achievable now for farm women with satellite internet. I think the stereotypical 'farmers wife' definition has been turned on its head, which it needed to be.