Tuesday, 23 June 2009
My title comes from the movie Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner. The notion behind the title is that if Kevin Costner built a baseball stadium in rural Iowa people would come and watch a mythical team play. Costner showed faith and in great Hollywood fashion the people came.
Last Wednesday at Nyngan a farm family gathering was organised for the community with the hope that the community would come. As we all know real life does not always mirror the movies and and the people did not come.
The program organised by Drought Support Worker Pip Brown provided a showcase of the services available to farmers under the stress of drought. The services included Centrelink, Community Health, NSW Farmers, the Salvation Army and The Uniting Church represented by yours truly.
The highlight of the day was provided by John Harper who spoke candidly about his experience of depression and how he lives with his illness successfully. The small crowd was entertained and informed about how depression can be disabling and insidious but certainly not unbeatable.
I do not know for sure why there was not more people around for the day. It was mentioned that a lot of farmers were on tractors trying to take advantage of the recent rains. This is surely a good thing!
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
You may have seen Tallimba recently on the local area news as one of those areas trying to encourage people to settle in the village with the enticement of very inexpensive housing. I hope this is is successful as Tallimba needs new families to retain their school and other essential infrastructure.
The Tallimba area has been in the grip of drought for the past decade. The effects have been insidious and wearing on the whole community. The women of the Tallimba area are a very resilient bunch although even their staying powers are being tested.
Thanks to hard working and dedicated community workers in the area such as Sarah Heinjus a Community Nurse programs have been offered to lift moral and offer coping skills to the community.
Yesterday I attended a women's day ( I was the only male ) In Tallimba. The focus of the day was provided by Sandra Martin a women's stylist who gave the local ladies invaluable tips about apparel. colors, makeup and under garments. I really learnt a lot!
There was also a session on massage and " Claiming Your Family Story ", my contribution.
It was a great day and I believe that the ladies were informed and uplifted by the experience.
The sponsors for the day were the Division of General Practice, the Department of Primary Industries, the Bland Shire Council and Uniting Church.
One of the meetings I attend regularly is the Uniting Church Presbytery of the Riverina Rural Committee. As the name denotes this is a church committee that is concerned primarily with rural issues that impact on the Riverina and further.
The committee has in its membership people who are passionate about rural life and what it offers. As Christians the committee members are also concerned with how their faith speaks to their lives in rural NSW.
An example of how passionate and dedicated these people are some members travel 300 kilometers to the meeting. Another member of the committee is in his 80's and has just purchased his old farm back because it is what he loves doing.