Tough rural women taught resilience to tackle challenges on farm

Tamworth: NSW Rural Women's Network runs RESTORE workshops to teach resilience to women in agriculture

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RESILIENCE: NSW Rural Women's Network project officer Dimity Smith will facilitate the RESTORE workshop to teach women tools to be resilient. Photo: Peter Hardin 080621PHC016

RESILIENCE: NSW Rural Women's Network project officer Dimity Smith will facilitate the RESTORE workshop to teach women tools to be resilient. Photo: Peter Hardin 080621PHC016

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There's a natural toughness to women who work on farms, but not everyone inherently has the tools to be resilient.

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THERE'S a natural toughness to women who work on farms, but not everyone inherently has the tools to be resilient.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the state's Rural Women's Network wants to given women the tools to tackle life on the farm and a space to connect.

Face-to-face RESTORE workshops will help women bolster their coping strategies and give them the ability to say no, NSW Rural Women's Network project officer Dimity Smith said.

"It's a really relentless world for women in agriculture, they're working day-in, day-out and there's not often time to stop, pause and reflect," she said.

"There is a need to sharpen the saw, to focus back on what you're doing and make sure that you are making good decisions.

"We make better decisions when we have more people around us and these workshops will help women make connections, so if they have challenges there's support there if they need it."

The workshops are part of a broader movement from the DPI Rural Resilience Team.

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It argues resilience isn't an outcome, it's a process, and supports primary producers by linking them with services providers, helping them prepare for floods and drought and developing resources and information.

But, most importantly the Rural Resilience Team listens to farmer's needs.

SUPPORT FOR WOMEN: NSW Rural Women's Network project officer Dimity Smiht. Photo: Peter Hardin 080621PHC006

SUPPORT FOR WOMEN: NSW Rural Women's Network project officer Dimity Smiht. Photo: Peter Hardin 080621PHC006

The RESTORE workshops focus specifically on women in the beef and cattle industries, Ms Smith said.

"With COVID and drought, the floods and bushfires, those connections between farming women have been really weakened," she said.

"So we'll look at goals and developing those to make them achievable, we're going to unload our challenges and issues and then rebuild and get on a good path long-term."

In the peak of COVID-19, a lot of events moved online, so it's great to be able to meet again, Ms Smith said.

"We wanted a small, intimate group for women in dairy and beef to be able to open up about their challenges," she said.

The workshop is on June 16 and 17 in Tamworth.

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