Wednesday, May 30, 2012

QRRRWN President on ABC TV

Next Monday night 4th June, ABC 1's dynamic panel show, QandA, will be broadcast from Toowoomba's Empire Theatre.

QRRRWN president Georgie Somerset will be on the panel for this show: other panellists are Simon Crean, Barnaby Joyce, Christine Milne and Jeremy Marou (one of the duo Busby Marou).

You can be part of the audience in Toowoomba - go to - or you can always email or tweet questions in before or during the show.

QandA airs at 9.35pm Monday nights on ABC 1.

I'll be watching....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Here's to Bush Bloggers!

Another article today about the rise of mummy bloggers in the SMH which is great.
I always enjoy reading them and enjoy they diversity of their blogs (and some are brilliant).

I am wondering though when will the marketers come a'knockin for all the Bush Babes.

Do our opinions not count?

Surely women that can drive tractors, change tyres, muster, work the canteen and have a roast on the table by sundown after they knock off from their own desk job deserve some recognition - because I salute you all.
Whether you live in a town or on a property life in rural Australia land is magnificent.

Looking forward to a time when the voices of rural Australia are valued just as much as everyone else!

Lunch With Margareta Osborn

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 Margareta Osborn has just released ' Bella's Run' which is climbing all the best seller lists!
This novel, set in rural Australia, is a raw and entertaining read.
If you live near Jindabyne you have the opportunity to have lunch with Margareta on Saturday.

Lunch is at Horizons Resort Jindabyne, Saturday June 2nd at 12:30pm.
Tickets are $30 for lunch which includes a complimentary glass of champagne!
Tickets are available from Snowprint Bookshop  (who are celebrating their 8th birthday) or call on 6457 1115 to get your ticket.

Sounds delightful and if I can offload children for their Saturday sport I will be there!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Courage, Courage - St Joey's Bombala Rocks

I was always told once my children started school, life would begin again.
How true those words were!

My children attend a small Catholic primary school.
Small is 20 students.

Big is it's heart.

5 years ago I entered the gates and have ever since been swept up in the challenge of the highs and lows of keeping a rural school viable.

It's turned out to be the fight of my life so far - my children's education.

I never thought that I would have to fight so hard in Australia in 2012 to send my children to the school of my choice.
I never thought we would have to spend every waking hour researching, thinking, constantly talking about it and hoping that today, today a new family will arrive and boost our numbers and we could all heave a sigh of relief just for that day.
I never thought that we could live in a town of 1500 people and have so few care about what happens with their schools and the future generations of our district.
I never thought that we would have to sit up late at night talking on the phone giving and receiving counsel, sharing ideas and pure bewilderment at our situation.  Why won't parents use the school?
I never thought that we would have to give up so much time with our own families to do more work for our school.
I never thought that I would sit up all night trawling the Internet for ideas on how to attract more enrolments.
I never thought we would have to stop in the street and assure other parents we will be fine, after all we have Mary MacKillop on our side, she started our school and therefore she won't let us down.
I never thought that our children's needs would sometimes take second place because we had so much more to think about (my son walked with holes in his soles for weeks because I was too busy doing "school stuff" to listen to his needs!  Another child's mother could not find time to take her to the Dr - another rural issue - because there was just not enough time!)
I never thought that there is nothing you could tell me that we haven't already researched, thought, talked about or worried about regarding a school.
I never thought I would have so many people tell me it would be such a shame to lose the school but then won't support it.  They want the choice but it's not up to them.
And I never thought it would be like this.

I also never thought I would meet such a magnificent group of parents who have held us up and agreed to anything that is thrown at them - because they care so much.
I never thought such a diverse group of people could agree and work so hard for what we want in our community.
I never thought I would be able to laugh so hard at the most ridiculous times because that was the only thing left to do.
I never thought my children would have the benefit of two teachers for 20 students - how spoilt is that!
I never thought that I really could find the best in everyone and see that as their gift but I have.
I never thought that with every conversation I could come away feeling good about what we do and knowing we have such tremendous people cheering us on.
I never thought people would stop me in the street to tell us to keep going, have faith and what we are doing matters.
I never thought a sister of St Joseph's would tell me she admires me (I cried).
I never thought that I would find myself doing things I would never have imagined just to get my point across.  (Hijacked speech from the pulpit anyone!)
I never thought too much about the staff of our school until I realised they were sent for a reason and are doing exactly what needs to be done.
I never thought I could have so much fun fundraising!!  We do so many big event's in our district (hello calf sale, races, Deb ball) and have so much genuine fun.  We raise so much money for our kids and have an excellent time while we do it = great for our town.
I never thought that I would have to step back and look at the big picture of what it means to keep a school open in my town, it has consequences for a rural district, and that is one of the reasons why we keep going.
I never thought that I would find myself admiring everyone else's trust and faith and it being a lesson to me.
I never thought when I moved here I would find such lovely friends and mentors amongst a group of parents.
I never thought I would respect people so much as I do the ones at St Joseph's.
I never thought that we could have the interest of a community watching everything we do and even if its silent, wanting us to achieve.
I never thought I would side with people I have absolutely nothing in common with.
I never thought a group of people, many whom are not catholic, could all find common ground in our values and what we believe and want for our children.
I never thought I would find a school community so welcoming, so accepting, so big hearted and so magnificent as the one I find myself in now.
And I now know that we have succeeded.

It's also pretty cool to have your children attend a school where Mary MacKillop walked (non-believers have even told me this) and we cannot help but think it's all for a reason.  So while we wait for the magic or the miracle to arrive, depending on what you believe, know that there is this little school fighting it's heart out and the people involved, the issues we have faced, the moments we have shared have been miraculous and magnificent.  If you need some inspiration take some from us for we have been at the lowest low and the highest high - and we are still here.
Spare a thought for our children, staff and parents, who in the last 5 years have not known a day without worry.  It takes it's toll.

But this is a good story.  One that few will ever know hence why I write this post.  I want gratitude, honour and acknowledgement to go to all involved.  Every parent has done their part.  It's been crazy, hard, stressful, some days the pressure has been overwhelming and unbelievable and I mean overwhelming and unbelievable.

(In our minds the canteen mums all look like this, why wouldnt you want to be us!)

The good bit - how great are we!!  How lucky are our children to see their parents work so hard for something they believe in.  Something they may only remember when they themselves are adults faced with adversity.  It's a lesson in not giving up or walking away.  I have gained so much from those around me.  And at the end of the day I think that's what life is about.

I know there is always the argument about private v public schools but spare me the comments, I am not knocking any avenue of education or beliefs just supporting a choice which every family deserves.  I also attended catholic, public and private schools so know the pro and con's for all.  It's also very hard to make public something private and stressful (for me anyway).  I am thankful I have the opportunity to fight for what I want.  I always thought a blog for rural women could do alot of good, which it does so I think a post about a school facing a Goliath battle can only do good as well.

All in all I am so thankful for all we have been through for we are a far better school community for it.  We know what works and what does not.  We have classy teachers, vibrant parents and kids who will always be supported.  I cannot ask for more than that.  And even if you are not a believer, non religious or simply don't care I want to tell our story and give credit where credit is due.  Any adversity in life is hard but to go through it with such great people beside you brings so much strength and opportunity.

St Joey's rocks and always will!

“Courage, courage, trust in God who helps you in all things” Mary MacKillop

And thanks to Mary Mac who keeps us going.

Visit their website here and tell your friends!

Friday, May 25, 2012

NSW Rural Women's Gathering

Registration and pricing now available

Registration and pricing for the 20th Anniversary NSW Rural Women's 
Gathering to be held at Parkes from 12-14 October is now available.

Visit the Parkes Women's Gathering blog for full details: 

Down to Earth Opera

Down to Earth Opera Company is a new not for profit regionally based opera company.
Our Regional Choir project will begin on 23rd/24th June 2012 with a 2 day workshop at Young NSW to culminate in an outdoor Australia Day Weekend Concert on 27th Jan 2013.
As a community development and arts project this will contribute in many ways to regional people and establish the basis of our opera chorus.
We are asking for Expressions of Interest from choristers and singers from throughout the Southern and Central areas of NSW (intending they won’t have to travel more than a couple of hours)


Monday, May 21, 2012

Target 100

Target 100 -- a commitment to deliver sustainable cattle and sheep farming in Australia by 2020 -- find out more at

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Grow with Woolworths 2012 Agricultural Business Scholarship

Woolworths is offering 30 young Australians the opportunity to attend the 2012 Woolworths Agricultural Business Scholarship program.

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Learn from the best
During the 12-day course, you’ll gain a broad academic perspective on the business of agriculture from key academics, Woolworths business leaders and other industry experts. Based at the Woolworths support office in north west Sydney, the program will give you valuable insights into key issues and opportunities in this sector.
Session topics include
  • Business strategy and planning
  • Agricultural value chain
  • Successful business leadership
  • Business finance
  • Logistics and supply chain management
  • The role of government
  • Doing business with retailers
  • Sustainability and environmental issues
How will I benefit? The course has been specifically designed to be practical as well as theoretical, providing you with the chance to apply best practice ideas to your own real life experiences. You’ll also learn from some of the country’s leading experts in business management and gain a deeper understanding of how the retail business actually works.

Apply your knowledge
Your active participation in group work will maximise the benefits of the scholarship program. You will also be required to spend some time each evening after class working with your scholarship colleagues.

What will it cost?
Nothing – Woolworths will fund the cost of your domestic travel to and from Sydney and will pay for your accommodation and meals during the course.

When and where?
Monday 27th August to Friday 7th September 2012. Woolworths Support Office, 1 Woolworths Way, Bella Vista NSW

Eligibility criteria
You’re eligible to apply if you are:
  • Aged between 20–35 years old (as at 1st January 2012)
  • Currently employed in the agricultural or horticultural industry or in your second or further year of study in an agricultural or horticultural faculty at a registered tertiary institution
  • Available to attend the entire course from Monday 27th August to Friday 7th September 2012 in Sydney
Woolworths is an equal opportunity organisation. So no matter what your background, gender or race, if you meet the eligibility criteria of this program, we welcome your application.

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Apply now
To apply visit and click the link ‘Woolworths Agricultural Business Scholarship’.
Alternatively, you can call Woolworths on 02 8885 4981for an application form. Applications open Wednesday 4th April to Friday 1st June. All applications will be jointly reviewed in the strictest confidence late June.
Click here to download the pdf brochure

Remarks from Maria Shriver

Feel your strength and your vulnerability. Acknowledge your goodness, and don’t be afraid of it. Look at your darkness -- and work to understand it, so you’ll have the power to choose who you’ll be in the world.

Women: look at your toughness and your softness. You can and should make room for both in your life. The world needs both.

Men: find your gentleness, and wrap it into your manliness. You, too, can make room for both. The greatest men do.

Fight to make a difference in this world.
Fight for good. Fight for fairness.
Fight on!

Remarks delivered on Friday, May 11, 2012 at University of Southern California's Annenberg School Commencement Ceremony

Monday, May 14, 2012

National Families Week

NFW logo

National Families Week 2012 will be held from Tuesday 15 May to Monday 21 May 2012 (coinciding with UN International Day of Families on Tuesday 15 May).

The aim of National Families Week 2012 is to celebrate the vital role that families play.  This year’s theme is Families make all the difference: helping kids to grow and learn.
In National Families Week 2012, everyone is encouraged to think about the valuable role families play in helping children to develop, learn and grow, and reflect on the influence families have on a child’s wellbeing.  
This National Families Week, let’s take the time to reflect on the critical role that families play in teaching, supporting and nurturing children as they grow.

Further information about National Families Week 2012, including ideas for events, is available on our website:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What's In Your Mothers Day Stash?

It's cold, I am enjoying a red and loving my stash from Mothers Day

This year I received jars full of love from their gorgeous school, cookies in a jar from preschool and lovely notes and cards.

I am probably one of the luckiest mothers on earth to have my children attend our local St Joseph's Primary School which is just the most beautiful environment for children.

I am surrounded by the strongest, happiest and most inspiring group of parents and staff I could have ever hoped for.  
I am so grateful for them all.

Look what I get to eat now!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Found Essay: Letter from a Mother to a Daughter*

Perhaps mother's day will take a different slant after reading this.  I cannot get through it without tears and thinking of my own beautiful mother.

The Found Essay: Letter from a Mother to a Daughter* via

“My dear girl,
the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.
 If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago.” Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep. 
When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl? 
When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way. Remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair, and dealing with life’s issues every day.
 The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. 
 If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient, or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. 
And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. 
When those days come, don’t feel sad—just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. 
I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. 
With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you, my darling daughter.”

Silver Lining

For those who may have had an exhausting week which perhaps seemed to achieve nothing but sadness and disappointment (you know who you are) there is always a silver lining.
It's there, it just takes a while to show itself sometimes.

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(via Shop Talk: Sarah Seven |

When you feel like you are swimming upstream, just flip over and float.

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@_IFB—thank you for making this!! 
(via Professional Blogger Spotlight: Glitter Guide | Independent Fashion Bloggers)

Simple Saturdays

Wishing you much kindness this weekend