Saturday, February 22, 2014

2014 Women's Gathering

Heritage with Heart - Coolamon: 12, 13 & 14 September 2014

Chair of the Coolamon NSW Rural Women's Gathering Committee - Nicole Lucas - says the 2014 Gathering will bring hundreds of women and their partners to the region and will be an opportunity for the local community to spread the word about the region's rich heritage, natural beauty and industries, and to share their unique experiences.

The committee's chosen theme, "Heritage with Heart", reflects the unique culture, history and environment of the Coolamon community.

Stay tuned for more information in 2014!

Bookworld Pop Ups

Do you know somewhere in Australia that deserves thousands of free books?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

ABARES Outlook 2014 Conference

Outlook 2014

2014 is International Year of Family Farming as designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ABARES is committed to supporting agricultural producers and will feature the following rural leaders from rural Australia on the Outlook 2014 program: 
Hear from leading speakers, rural leaders and primary producers:

ABARES is pleased to confirm the following speakers for Outlook 2014 across sessions
Brent Findlay, National Farmers’ Federation
Murray Scholz, ‘Dunoon’ Culcairn, NSW / Nuffield Scholar
John Cameron, ‘Kintyre’ Bongeen, QLD 
Caroline Welsh, Birchip Cropping Group, VIC
Dennis Mutton, Focus on Solutions, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation SA
Lucy Gregg, Reid Fruits, TAS
Andrew Spencer, Australian Pork Limited / Australian Rural Leadership Foundation
Natalie Williams, ‘Granville Station’, Jericho / Nuffield Scholar QLD
Michael Sheehy, Natural Resources Indonesia / Nuffield Scholar
Catherine Marriott, Influential Women / Australian Rural Leadership Foundation  WA
In addition leading producers from Canada, France, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Brazil and United States of America as well as guests from India and China will join Outlook 2014 delegates on Wednesday 5 in association with Nuffield International’s Contemporary Scholars Conference. 
Outlook 2014 will provide you with the opportunity to network with these and other inspiring speakers and rural groups to develop shared benefits for agriculture. Join the conversation at ABARES Outlook 2014 conference as we examine the opportunities for our agricultural industries.
Register online or download the registration form.
Outlook conference dinner

ABARES welcomes ANZ as our dinner partner for 2014. The conference dinner is on Tuesday 4 March from 6.30pm. Delegates can relax over a delicious three-course meal and discuss the day’s sessions. 
Science broadcaster MC Bernie Hobbs will host the Outlook 2014 dinner where you can meet the winners of the 2014 Science and Innovation Awards and Australian Biosecurity Awards.
Book your Canberra accommodation

The Outlook 2014 website has information on conference accommodation rates at Crowne Plaza Canberra.


Register online
Register online today for ABARES Outlook 2014 conference!

‘We’re For The Bush’ Appeal­­­­­­­­­­­­

The Daily and Sunday Telegraphs, in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank, 2GB and the NSW Farmers Association have launched the ‘We’re For The Bush Appeal’ which aims to alleviate the suffering of drought-stricken farmers in NSW.

Following over two years of dry weather in north-west NSW, more than half of the state is now in drought. Last week the NSW State Government announced additional emergency measures on top of those announced in November last year.

In the coming days and weeks the public will be encouraged by the newspapers and radio hosts to enter any branch of the Commonwealth Bank where they can donate to the appeal. All proceeds will go to the Salvation Army which will distribute vouchers that farmers can redeem for food at IGA Supermarkets and fodder at CRT Country Stores.

The Commonwealth Bank has contributed $50,000 to kickstart the appeal. News Corp Australia and 2GB have each contributed $25,000 cash and will also provide significant in-paper and on-air support. Metcash and its independently-owned IGA NSW stores today pledged $15,000.

A series of events will take place later this week, and the Appeal will stay open for a number of weeks. More details will be announced in the coming days.

Go here to make a donation or find out more

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Vote for Australia's Favourite Library

Libraries and library services across Australia provide so much for their communities—whether it is a hospital library providing the most up-to-date research for surgeons, a library van delivering audio books to the housebound or a school library providing the foundations of lifelong literacy. Library users often rave about the excellent service their library provides but don’t have a great platform to let other people know.  The search for Australia’s Favourite Library will provide a forum to publicly recognise the important work libraries across the country perform every day. 
For more information please contact or phone 02 6215 8222.

Nominations for Australia’s Favourite Library are now open. Anyone can nominate their library. We have a nomination form online but nominations are also accepted by email and telephone 02 6215 8221. Nominators will be asked about what makes their library special.  Nominations will close 14 March 2014.

Voting will open on the 14 March 2014. Library users will be able to vote by an online poll, by email, by text or by phone. Voting will close on 22 April. 
ALIA will announce Australia’s Favourite Library to kick off Library and Information Week on Monday 19 May 2014. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Word Jam

Thank you to Renata Provenzano for providing this blog post

Rural life in Australia is such a vastly different social, emotional and physical experience to what city-living people can imagine. For a lot of people in rural and outback Australia it is an adventure not too far off the original pioneering days, but thank goodness for cars, fridges and air-conditioning! At the same time, it can be a life of self-dependence, using our wits, being a master of all trades, having enthralling experiences and sometimes also, despondency and loneliness. These lives we lead tend to offer us a chance to dig deep and find a creative outlet which is one of the best ways to express our feelings.

Quill & Lantern™ - - is a new blog site developed by Renata Provenzano, an Australian journalist of 20+ years, award-winning author and teacher of writing and journalism. Renata grew up on the banks of the mighty Murray River in South Australia’s Murray Mallee region where she believes a lot of daydreaming contributed to her ability to focus on creativity.

“Rural Australians have a bit of an advantage over city slickers when it comes to creativity – we can see the stars!” Renata says. “Daydreaming and star gazing, spending time uninterrupted by modern living is essential to draw on our creative senses. Getting up close with nature is becoming rare in many parts of the world. Where else can you gaze out at the biggest blue skies, watch storms roll in, wake to the kookaburra or be mesmerised by kangaroos in your front yard ? At the same time, where else can you find a snake in your laundry one day and a frog in your kettle the next ?!!” (Both true of our current summer.)

Renata says using the written word to express a moment, a story or an emotion is different for each writer but everyone tends to benefit from time. Time to think, time to mix and blend words and sentences, time to let words sit a while and thicken up before we decide our writing is ready to be shared.
“I think writing can be a bit like making jam which most country people are familiar with. You wait until the ingredients are ripe and in good supply. You prepare and sort. You add special flavourings and add some heat. Then simmer and stir for a long time until the essence of your story becomes thick and can stand on its own (which is the wooden spoon test for jam being ready to be jarred).
“So I coined the phrase for writing as WordJam™ – which is also a play on the idea musicians have a jam session, so writers can too. A Word Jam™ can be anything. It might be a poem, some thoughts accompanied by a photo, music, or prose. Word Jam is usually something which has taken some effort to create.”

Quill & Lantern™ has been especially set up to offer writers and word jammers The Word Jam™ Gallery as a way of sharing your writing: poems, prose, photo stories, word art or a jumble of photography, words, art or craft.

Quill and Lantern™ extends an open invitation to all Bushbelles readers to express their unique country lives and share on the Word Jam™ Gallery. Whatever your background, age, gender, big tacker or lil’ tacker, please send your submission to the Contact section on the website. Please make sure it is already edited in the right format to be published (as Renata does not have time to edit or check spelling). [ Please note: all submissions must belong to the person who submits, including any images. Quill & Lantern™ reserves the right not to publish submissions it deems inappropriate and asks all submissions be mindful of Internet protocol.]

Monday, February 10, 2014

University Survival Guide

It’s that time of year when thousands of rural and regional school leavers move away from home to pursue study or jobs in city areas. For many it can be a daunting experience.
This year, the CEF is helping rural and regional students to make the transition with a new online guide. Click here to download a copy of the Uni Survival Guide

The Guide contains great tips, advice and links to help find:
  • campus accommodation
  • bulk billing doctors
  • part-time jobs
  • low-fee bank accounts
  • cheap text books
  • support and counselling services…and lots more.
There’s even a great app you can download to help first years find their way around any Australian university – as we know getting lost on campus is a huge problem for most students. 
The CEF University Survival Guide is on their website at:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Future Farming Inspiration

Titled "Picture Yourself in Agriculture" it describes the passion, soul and energy one can gain from a career in agriculture and her commitment to attract and engage the younger generations to this.

A great and inspiring read which will make you proud and give you goosebumps.

Rural women - Have your Say! Invitation to consult on the proposed national Paid Parental Leave Scheme

Would you like to have input into the government's proposed national Paid Parental Leave Scheme (PPL)?

This is the scheme which the government, through its 2013 election campaign, committed to introduce from 1 July 2015.  The Government has outlined its scheme in The Coalition's Policy for Paid Parental Leave 2013.  This plan outlines the overall parameters of the new scheme and will inform the discussion when you have your say.

The Government is eager to gain the views of women who live and work in rural, remote and regional Australia.  Do you have thoughts on some aspect of the new scheme?  How might this scheme work with your personal employment or business situation in rural and remote Australia?  From a rural and remote perspective, what might this scheme mean for women for 'work'  (paid or unpaid) in a variety of family farm business models in food and fibre production?
The Department of Social Services really wants to hear from rural women and they are hosting a special teleconference for rural women to have their input.

This teleconference will be on Monday 17th February in the late afternoon or evening (depending on your time zone).
8 pm - NSW, VIC, TAS, ACT
7.30 pm - SA
7.00 pm - QLD
6.30 pm - NT
5.00 pm - WA
If you would like to obtain the dial-in details, please email the NRWC's Program Manager


* The scheme will provide 26 weeks of leave at actual wage (capped at $150 000) or national minimum wage (whichever is the greatest).
* Superannuation contributions at the mandatory superannuation guarantee rate (9.25%) will be included.
* Two of the 26 weeks may be used by fathers/partners.
* It will use the same work test as applies to the current scheme.
* Payments to individuals will be made by Centrelink.
* The scheme will be partly funded by a 1.5% levy on large business (those with taxable incomes greater than $5 million).
* Will commence from 1 July 2015.


* Take some time to read the details of the Paid Parental Leave Scheme being proposed.

* Email the NRWC Program Manager at to receive the dial-in details.

* Join the teleconference on 17th February.  (Please check the times listed above).