Alison Fairleigh recently won the Qld rural woman of the year award for her work with rural mental health advocacy and promotion of social media as an opportunity to help improve the health and well being of people in rural and remote Australia. From the 7th to 10th of April the National Rural Health Conference was held in Adelaide and as invited speaker Alison gave a truly inspirational presentation.
Photo sourced from Farming ahead online
Please click on the following link and listen to Alison Fairleigh with -
Alison has a blog site called Talking Fairleigh. It has been one of the recommended places to visit by this site; the link along with the last published post can be found in the right hand column of this page under My Blog List. Another recommendation in our list is Michael Trant's, Farmers way of life whom Alison points out in her presentation as a major social media success story for rural people. The #Hadagutful campaign in WA has been a success; it has shown that a minority group, (that is what farmers are these days in Australia), can in the face of economic ruin and facing interest groups of far greater political power, can start to turn the situation around and bring hope.
The Knitting Nannas from the NSW Northern rivers area have shown how by thinking outside the square and using a bit of imagination that the public's attention can be captured and a message delivered with no high budget, no restriction of age and using social media.
As Alison indicated it was completely out of left field that a youtube appeared by a complete unknown, Cassandra McDonald which brought to a halt the efforts from a considerable public relations budget from the supermarket giant, Coles.
Ask An Aussie Farmer face book page has been a major success. Started a little over a year ago it now has over 4,500 likes. The description for the page reads as follows -
"We are a group that is passionate about Australian farming, with expertise and first-hand knowledge across a broad expanse of agriculture in Australia, including access to experts and professionals. We reside all over this country and some even live far away from our shores but are still involved in the diverse industries of Australian agriculture. The reason for hosting this page is so those that live, breath, know, and are enthusiastic about Aussie Ag can answer your questions and tell their stories”
The internet has been a great break through for people who live and work in regional, rural and remote areas. Social media has broken the tyranny of distance. It is no longer the case that you have to physically go to a capital city to get your point of view across; it can all be done from home at very little cost