Summer Listening Series

Ahead of the festive season, we have compiled a list of our favourite podcasts. Check out our 12 days of Christmas Summer Listening below.

Celebrating Ability in Agriculture with Josie Clarke, Humans of Agriculture.

Josie Clarke is blazing a trail, just this year she has been in Mexico for her PhD, on the stage as the winner of the NSW/ACT Rural Woman’s Award, a finalist for the National Rural Woman’s Award and most recently named a 2023 EvokeAg Future Young Leader.

Josie founded an organisation called Ability Agriculture, they help give a voice to people with a disability working in agriculture and to shift the perceptions of their capacity within the sector.

Listen to her story below.

Emergency doctor Kate Field moved from the city to the country for cheese, Motherland Australia.

Kate Field and her husband love cheese so much that 10 years ago, they packed up life in Sydney and bought a farm in Tasmania to become cheesemakers. They started their own dairy goat herd and have grown their business to something very special. But there’s a lot more to Kate’s story than wrangling kids- both the goat kind and the human kind! Kate is also an emergency doctor at the Royal Hobart Hospital and her journey through pregnancy, motherhood and life on the land is quite the tale. Kate was also one of three Tasmanian finalists for the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award and it’s been a thrill to get to know her. This is her story.

A paddock chat with Kelly Barnes, The Farm Life Fitness Podcast.

Kelly is a passionate rural mental wellbeing and dynamic disability advocate with a love of animals, especially her loyal working dogs. She grew up on her family farm in the south of England and worked on farms and for shearing teams in the UK, New Zealand and Australia before settling permanently in Dunkeld, Victoria in 2011. Due to ongoing challenges with chronic pain she transitioned to work in agribusiness roles including rural merchandise and completed training in Agricultural Health and Medicine and Healthy and Sustainable Agricultural Communities which fueled her passion for health and wellbeing in farming communities.

Kelly was honoured to be named the 2020 Victorian Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award winner with her concept of using working dogs to encourage social connection and as a support tool to improve mental wellbeing in farming communities. She continues to be amazed at how the humble working dog can open the space for so many important conversations and provide a constant source of support through challenging times. This paddock chat was so much fun to do, hence why it is the longest one so far; there was never a good time to stop the conversation, it just kept flowing!

Mentally Preparing for the Fire Season, Campfire.

This bite-sized episode explores how understanding the impact of disasters – like COVID, bushfires and floods – can help people prepare for the next disaster, both practically and psychologically. 
Drew interviews Alexandra Howard from Phoenix Australia, and Cathy Sosoli, former Wellbeing Team Leader of the Country Fire Authority (CFA), about this important topic and ways to reduce and navigate trauma in the wake of disaster.

Is there anything better than saving a life? Victorian Farmers Federation

Take a dive into the world of a pediatric trauma and burns surgeon who works with children on a daily basis. Dr Warwick Teague catches up with host Tegan Buckley through the VFF Podcast for a fascinating and truly intriguing look into the world of a trauma and burns unit. He opens up about minor to major injuries, returning to and engaging in normal daily life again, the trauma of trauma and helping families in a time of need.

Season 2, Episode 2: Dr. Alison Kennedy – Director of the National Centre for Farmer Health, RawAg podcast.

Alison is a Behavioural Scientist who has lived and worked in Victoria’s rural farming community for almost two decades. Her expertise in rural/farmer mental health and suicide prevention has drawn on a range of innovative techniques including digital interventions, digital storytelling, community education programs and peer support models. Alison has led numerous farmer mental health projects and continues to build the Centre’s capacity and reach by working collaboratively with researchers, farmers and industry stakeholders across Australia and internationally. Her expertise has been recognised through research awards, numerous advisory roles, peer review publication, international research consultation, invited presentations and expert witness testimony before the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. Alison is passionate about co-designing the Centre’s research, education and services in collaboration with community and industry—to ensure the Centre’s work continues to be effective, relevant and tailored to the needs of rural farming communities.

Shanna Whan’s best sober life, ABC Conversations.

When country woman Shanna Whan hit rock bottom in 2014 after a lifelong battle with alcohol addiction, she began a grassroots movement to tackle how we talk about booze in the bush.

Biosecurity on farms: controlling what you can control, Campfire.

Biosecurity risks can create a lot of stress for farmers – and it’s never been more relevant.
Tune in to the latest Campfire episode for insights from Chris Parker (First Assistant Secretary Biosecurity Animal Division) and Kathryn Roberston (livestock vet) on the impacts of biosecurity concerns on farmers, and what you can do to minimise the stress.Listen now on Spotify or Apple Podcasts by searching ‘National Centre for Farmer Health’, or follow the link:

A Farmer, Wife, Mum and exceptional Rural Woman with Steph Schmidt, Humans of Agriculture.

Steph Schmidt is a Farmer, Mum, Psychologist, Small Business owner and incredibly passionate about the future for Agriculture through its people.Steph is the 2020 winner of the Agrifutures Rural Woman’s Award for South Australia, the award enabled her to build on her idea focused on making paddock tested psychological tools more accessible to farmers and Rural Australia.

Living through drought in 2019, Steph was asked to run a few community sessions to help people get some skills in resilience and looking after themselves. These sessions were the instigator for her applying for the Rural Woman’s Award. Today, her work is bringing proactive measures into the everyday.

Understanding the mental impact of injuries on farm, Campfire.

On-farm injuries, particularly severe ones, create two immediate, often long-lasting problems – what happens to the farm and, more importantly, what happens to the farmer? In this episode, we discuss the often long-lasting mental and physical impacts of an injury on the farm – and what you can do to prevent them.

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) employers and self-employed persons must notify WorkSafe immediately after becoming aware a notifiable incident has occurred.

If employers/farmers are unsure if they need to report an incident they can call WorkSafe on 13 23 60. 

Know a bloke who’s struggling with his mental health? Ducks on the Pond

It’s so hard to watch someone you love, struggle with their mental health, especially when they aren’t getting the help they need. Rural men in particular seem to be among the most hesitant to open up and look after their own mental health… which can be frustrating for us women! So what’s the best way to start the conversation?

While this podcast is for women… as anyone in a rural community knows, the rates of suicide amongst our men is alarming (75% of suicides in Australia are male). There have also been multiple suicide clusters in rural Australia, including in south-west Victoria in 2016. In this episode, hear from:

  • Jane Fitzgibbon – her son Sam, took his own life when he was 21. She co-founded Let’s Talk, in south-west Victoria.
  • Mary O’Brien – Founder of “Are you bogged mate?” from Dalby, QLD.
  • Dr Alison Kennedy – suicide prevention researcher at the National Centre for Farmer Health.

So, whether you want to help your partner, son, father, brother or friend…in this episode we talk about when a man is most likely to be receptive to an “emotional” conversation and how to go about the conversation.


Healthy Ageing on the Farm, Campfire.

You can do everything right when planning and executing a succession plan. You can get some help from a professional, to work through some of the trickier bits. However, what some farmers realise is, that they forget about themselves – and never really discussed their ongoing role on the farm, once the transition was over.

Physically ageing farmers can often experience hearing loss. This not only poses a risk for accidents and injury, but can also affect farmers’ social connection and mental health. Ageing can also exacerbate arthritis and muscular pain, often caused by the physical tasks of farming over a long period. Your back might not be up to a full day of crutching sheep anymore, but you also might not be ready to retire completely.

The median age of farmers and farm managers in Australia is 56, making it an especially important topic for the industry.

But there are options to safely (both mentally and physically) continue to assist on the farm after retirement or succession.