Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Sands of Time

Today I wave goodbye to my beautiful, gentle daughter as she begins school




Trying not to think too much about it




The little girl who would never leave my side is beside herself with excitement


Me, well it's sobering.
I never though the day would come so soon.
I thought sending my 3rd baby to school would take a lifetime.




So where exactly does that leave me...


Driving to my favourite shop with my 3 yr old, smothering him in kisses, burying my face in his beautiful red curls breathing in the last of his baby scent.
Trying desperately to make myself feel better with some purchases.
His old man humour has the ability to lift you from your darkest moments. 


This I am counting on.
The visa bill - well sometimes it just has to hurt so good.
And for all those sending children out into the world on whatever adventure they are about to embark on....

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Farm Medals


Do you have any farm medals from agricultural shows hidden away in a box somewhere?
The National Museum of Australia has just bought a huge collection of farming medals, popular in the 1800s and early 1900s, and is keen to find out the stories behind them.
Share your stories here...

Shock and Awe

At the tennis


Gutted for my Raffa but what an amazing physical match.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

LIstening to....

Tiffany Alvord & Boyce Avenue acoustic cover

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Loving Our Governor-General


Brilliant speech from the 2012 Australia Day National Broadcast
Yarralumla Woolshed, Canberra
26 January 2012
Could our Governor-General be any more gracious and fabulous?




Below is an extract from her speech - it's worth a read.


In October last year, I was delighted, as Patron, to launch the Australian Year of the Farmer 2012.

A year to celebrate the vital role farmers play in our lives.

To remind us that the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the wine we drink, our shoes, our office stationery, the timber in our houses and in our kitchen tables are all connected to farming. So many essentials of daily life are there for us, because of the efforts of our farmers.

Year of the Farmer will inform Australians about the advantages of working in agriculture -- about those quiet achievements of farmers that benefit all of us, and so many people overseas.

Farmers are the sentinels of our environment. They are the first to see changes in soils, water quality, bird life, and natural vegetation. They are also the first 'fixers'. Often, enviromental degradation is stopped in its tracks by farmers.

Collaboration between farmers and scientists has led to significant improvements for producers in other countries. It has helped them to grow food crops resistant to pests, drought and degraded water.

Our farmers are the life force of our nation. They export 60 per cent of everything they produce - key to our national economy. And they sustain valuable local economies and communities. I often observe that women farmers are the glue that holds these together.

We need more farmers.
Year of the Farmer 2012 will reach out to people in our cities to encourage them to move to the bush. There's a strong message for our young people - especially those contemplating life after high school at this time of the year. Think about a career in agriculture.

As a country woman at heart, I know there are many tangible advantages to rural life. Country people have much to teach us about caring for each other, about giving (even when there's not much to give), and about values and respect for other people and for our institutions.

These are qualities that we can lose sight of, as our daily lives become ever more packed with activity, and the distinction between work and home is blurred by technology.

Our sense of community can be blurred, too - it's sad that many people today do not know their neighbours. And yet, when disaster strikes, as it did last year in Queensland's floods and in the Victorian bushfires of 2009, we saw Australians put their lives on hold for others, and behave magnificently in the face of adversity.

I see that spirit of volunteerism, selflessness and respect again and again in country Australia.

People need each other to get things done - the building of a school hall, a retirement home, re-turfing the cricket pitch, setting up the local show. That's what community engagement is all about - it's a very precious thing.

This Australia Day, let's take time to reflect on our lucky country, and to give thanks to the farmers who work so hard to make that luck.

Speech extract via here

Australian Year Of The Farmer

Tertiary Scholarship Available through NSW Farmers

NSW Farmers run a scholarship program every year available for students of NSW Farmers members. While there is a specific scholarship for students studying a vocational course there are a number of general scholarships available to all students



More information is available on their website

Street by street

Recovering the practice and art of neighbourliness

Street by Street is a national neighbourhood support program that links people who live in the same street or nearby. The focus is on practical helping tasks such as taking the bin in and out, hanging washing, getting a few items from the shops, or getting mail from the letter box.


Street by street We would like to hear from individuals and organisations around the country interested in participating in rolling out Street by Street on a national scale.

Community centres, service clubs, neighbourhood houses, community health centres, scout and guide groups, and voluntary associations are some of the organisations participating in auspicing a local Street by Street initiative.

More information is available at Street by Street. An Information for Participants Kit is available.


Neighbours not volunteers

Participants in a Street by Street link-up are not volunteers, they are people in a voluntary relationship with their neighbours, as neighbours.

The aim of Street by Street is to recover the practice, and art, of neighbourliness. We don’t want to surround this activity with rules and regulations, nor do we want to subject participants to the usual procedures that volunteers in formal organizations are subject to.

Street by Street is a very simple program that aims to re-kindle links between neighbours that might once have formed spontaneously but which, in our day and age, require a little facilitation. It is our intention to run Street by Street as a simple informal network, operating on a very large scale across Australia.


REGISTER NOW to participate.

Training Workshop 21 February

A Training Workshop for leaders and participants in the Street by Street program will be held on Tuesday 21 February 2012 in Melbourne.

The workshop will run from 10am to 3pm.

CLICK HERE for more information.

CLICK HERE to register.

National Steering Group

Expressions of Interest are invited for additional participants on the Street by Street National Steering Group.

The Steering Group will coordinate the development of Street by Street around Australia. If you would like to play an active role as a member of the National Steering Group, express your interest by submitting this online form.

CLICK HERE to express your interest.









International Women's Day Grants Program



The NSW Government, through the Office for Women's Policy, offers International Women's Day (IWD) grants to support NSW local governments to recognise and celebrate women?s achievements and the contribution they make to their area. For 2012, there will be 100 Grants available to a maximum of $1,000 (+ GST) per council to contribute to community events and programs, such as conferences, forums and awards, that acknowledge and celebrate International Women's Day.








Thursday, January 26, 2012

Outback Grapevine



The aim of Outback Grapevine is to support outback Australia and the families who have worked for generations to keep the life they love.

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To support the women who run business on the side to keep the family at home on the station.

To support the bush Mum's and Dad's who juggles many roles while living and working on properties.

... Share recipes and housekeeping tips

Share anything that makes outback and station life easier.

Share advice on living and working on a station

Share how to keep the kids and partner inline

Share advice on juggling school and station life

Share and promote outback businesses, websites and pages

Just share and promote your business
 
Click here to be directed to their facebook page
 
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Win $5000 to host your own Women's Day Event

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The prize


2012 is the 101st year that International Women’s Day is celebrated.

Win, and you can host your own International Women’s Day event in your local area during March 2012. Invite your friends, colleagues and suppliers and treat them to a celebration of women around the world.

We’ll contribute up to $5,000 (including GST) towards your event!



Key dates
Competition Starts: 5pm AEST Tuesday 20 December 2011
Competition Ends: 11.59pm AEST Sunday 5 February 2012
Winner Announced: Wednesday 8 February 2012

For more info go here

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fairfax Elders Photo Competition

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They say a picture speaks a thousand words. With so much to see and do around the farm, we're asking you to put this theory to the test. The Fairfax Elders Photo Competition opened on New Year's Day and we've already had a swag of great entries. Get snapping for your chance to win some great prizes! Click here see some of the favourite entries so far and learn more about the competition.

You are being asked to capture images of how farming affects the daily lives of all Australians in the city and the country. Whether it's a photo at your local market of the fresh farm eggs you buy every weekend, or the chicken the egg came from, they want to see it!

Each month a voucher for $500 worth of photographic equipment will be awarded to the best overall entry, as well as prizes for state winners in each category, that's 48 prizes worth $50 each every month!

The $500 January prize winner will be profiled in next month's newsletter and all winners will be listed on the website.

The Major National Prize will be announced at the Australian Year of the Farmer Innovation and Technology Expo in December. The overall winner for the Year will receive $10,000 worth of photographic equipment of their choice! If this isn't the coolest way to explore our great land and win amazing prizes then we don't know what is!

Australian Year Of The Farmer

 
Get your thinking caps on for how you best capture
  1. Country and city links
  2. Farm animals
  3. Farming landscapes
  4. Farming people at work and play
  5. Fun and funky in the country
  6. The things we grow and process
Get started: http://photocompetition.yearofthefarmer.com.au/

Directorship training launched for rural and regional women



Women on Boards has launched a professional development workshop aimed at women living in rural, regional and remote Australia. The Directors at a Distance - Realising your Board Potential workshop assists women with strategies for board and career development and is delivered via teleconference.

The workshop is suited to those women who are looking at long-term career options, thinking about or are already on a board or are seeking practical and strategic advice. It provides personal advice and the opportunity to build networks online with more than 12,000 women registered with the Women on Boards website.

Directors at a Distance - Realising your Board Potential

Session 1: Thursday 16 Feburary 2012

Session 2: Tuesday 6 March 2012

For more information visit http://www.womenonboards.org.au/

A scholarship for those passionate about agriculture

RIRDC, shaping the future

Agriculture offers the most dynamic and diversified number of career pathways of any industry in Australia.

Across agriculture there is a hugely diverse range of jobs on offer for university graduates, including disciplines like biochemistry, agricultural engineering, in-field agronomy, policy advice, investment analysis, and industrial relations to name just a few.

Careers in agriculture can take you to work on farms, in laboratories and in city skyscrapers.

With the pressures on agricultural production to address the challenge of feeding a rapidly growing global population and with a changing climate affecting productivity, agriculture will become an increasingly valuable career pathway with a high take up of new technology and innovation.

The Horizon Scholarship has been developed to support the next generation of agricultural leaders, who will take up the challenge of farming for the future.

We are looking for young people who are passionate about agriculture, with a keen interest in the future of our industries and who are ready to expand their networks and learn new skills.

If this sounds like you, download Horizon Scholarship brochure and application.pdf to apply for an Horizon Scholarship.

About the Horizon Scholarship

The Horizon Scholarship is an initiative of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) that, in partnership with industry sponsors, supports undergraduates studying agriculture at university by providing:

  • An bursary of $5,000 per year for the duration of their degree
  • Mentoring partnerships with university faculty members and industry leaders
  • Professional development workshops
  • Annual industry work placements that give students first-hand exposure to modern agricultural practices, and
  • Opportunities to network and gain knowledge at a range of industry events.
Eligibility

To be eligible for the Horizon Scholarship students must be entering their first year of university, studying a degree related to agriculture, such as:
  • Agricultural Science
  • Rural Science
  • Livestock/Animal Science
  • Veterinary Science
  • Agribusiness
Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of their commitment to a career in agriculture, as well as their leadership potential and high school academic record.

How to apply
An interactive PDF application form can be downloaded by clicking here: Horizon Scholarship brochure and application.pdf or by contacting RIRDC on (02) 6271 4100.

Further information:
Victoria Taylor
The Horizon Scholarship Coordinator
Ph: 0417 466 234
Email: victoria@flourishcommunication.com.au

Wanted: Farm Day 2011

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Rural Women's Network is looking for a NSW farming family who participated in Farm Day 2011 to share a short story about their experience.

It will be a small piece (approx 400 words) about your experience as a host and we would also like some quotes/thoughts from the family you hosted about their experience.

Photos would be great as well.

If you're interested in writing something please let them know asap.

Aboriginal men sought to be part of ABC TV Series 'Closing my Gap'

Aboriginal men are more likely to die in their early 60's - up to 20 years below the national average. While there are numerous initiatives to try and address this, what is the reality of the situation? The series "Closing My Gap' will explore the struggle many Aboriginal men face when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

There are a number of factors that contribute to health and wellbeing - diet, education, money management, community, access to food and relevant services and mental wellbeing. Over the period of 12 months we aim to follow 3 Aboriginal men (including the Director Adrian Wills) on their journey to close their own gap.

We are currently looking for 2 men of any age who are willing to be part of the series that will be filmed over a 12-month period. It is a big commitment but they will be supported throughout their journey and will not be alone in their quest.

At this stage they are asking for people to submit an outline about why they want to change their life - what is it about their life that they need to change so they don't wind up a statistic.
Men who are interested have a number of options on how to put themselves forward. They can film themselves and send us a disc/tape or upload to the email address supplied and it can be as short or long as they want. The other option is to drop an email to closingmygap@gmail.com outlining who they are, where they are from and why they want to be part of the series -what is it about their life that they need to change to improve their overall wellbeing.

If you have any questions about the series please feel free to drop an email at closingmygap@gmail.com or call Michaela on 0407 700 827

National Disability Insurance Scheme Website

A National Disability Insurance Scheme is about supporting people with disability to fulfill their potential and a new website has been designed to help.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

The NDIS is about ensuring people get the individualised care and support they need over the course of their lifetime, so they can exercise more choice and control in their lives. It's a big job to transform the system we have now and we will need the input of people with disability, their carers and advocates from right around Australia to make sure you are at the centre of this reform.

This website will help us stay in touch as we progress on the path to better care and support for Australians with disability. So sign up for the updates, check back with us regularly and make sure your voice is heard as we continue our work to build a National Disability Insurance Scheme.


The Week That Was....


No words needed


So close, yet so far....

Fed is one cool, classy gentleman
















And my new fav Feliciano Lopez with his glamorous players box which was like watching the Kardashians


Yes I had a ball and now off to the town courts to try out some new shots and pretend I am on Rod Laver Arena court.
Yes we will all be wearing our new tennis gear with me in my stylish RF cap and the kids who all want to be professional players.
I have told them to go for it.
Now excuse me while I try to come back down to earth and focus on real life.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Until Next Week.....

Australian Open

This is where I will be until next week.

Have packed my joggers in case Federer or Nadal need a hit up partner.... (you never know)


Monday, January 16, 2012

The School of St Jude - Join Our Family

Watch this great clip about The School of St Jude and read about Gemma Sisia, the only daughter of Sue and Basil Rice. They raised their eight children on a fine wool sheep station just out of Armidale on the New England Tablelands, about a six-hour drive north of Sydney, NSW, Australia.

I went to school with Gemma and she very kindly gave her advice when our own small school looked like closing.

I am in awe of her vision and what she has created.

St Jude's is definately on my bucket list of places to visit with my children in the future.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Coffee Conversations : Kerrie Phipps

The book, Lifting the Lid on Quiet Achievers – Success Stories of Regional Entrepreneurs, features individuals of all ages who will inspire you with their ideas and attitudes that helped them build successful businesses in regional Australia.

Listen to an interview with author Kerrie Phipps below.

It might just inspire you enough to go out today and do something that you really want to do.

Oh, the Places You'll Go


I often read it my children, I think it describes life perfectly.

Listen to the words spoken by men and women attending the massive Burning Man Festival (2011) in the deserts of Nevada.

It's gorgeous and inspire you to move mountains today.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A scholarship for those passionate about agriculture

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Agriculture offers the most dynamic and diversified number of career pathways of any industry in Australia.

Across agriculture there is a hugely diverse range of jobs on offer for university graduates, including disciplines like biochemistry, agricultural engineering, in-field agronomy, policy advice, investment analysis, and industrial relations to name just a few.

Careers in agriculture can take you to work on farms, in laboratories and in city skyscrapers.

With the pressures on agricultural production to address the challenge of feeding a rapidly growing global population and with a changing climate affecting productivity, agriculture will become an increasingly valuable career pathway with a high take up of new technology and innovation.

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The Horizon Scholarship has been developed to support the next generation of agricultural leaders, who will take up the challenge of farming for the future.

We are looking for young people who are passionate about agriculture, with a keen interest in the future of our industries and who are ready to expand their networks and learn new skills.

About the Horizon Scholarship
The Horizon Scholarship is an initiative of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) that, in partnership with industry sponsors, supports undergraduates studying agriculture at university by providing:

  • An bursary of $5,000 per year for the duration of their degree
  • Mentoring partnerships with university faculty members and industry leaders
  • Professional development workshops
  • Annual industry work placements that give students first-hand exposure to modern agricultural practices, and
  • Opportunities to network and gain knowledge at a range of industry events.
Eligibility
To be eligible for the Horizon Scholarship students must be entering their first year of university, studying a degree related to agriculture, such as:

  • Agricultural Science
  • Rural Science
  • Livestock/Animal Science
  • Veterinary Science
  • Agribusiness
Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of their commitment to a career in agriculture, as well as their leadership potential and high school academic record.

See here for more

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Amping up the New Year

Gratuitous eye candy but worth it...

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(A couple of strategically placed tennis players whom I hope to will see next week!)