What a year it has been at the National Centre for Farmer Health!
Our incredible team has continued to grow with the rollout of new programs, education offerings and research projects. Our team have loved the opportunity to get back to meeting face-to-face—connecting with farmers at field days and agricultural community events; developing new relationships and sharing knowledge through conference presentations and information stands at both the National Rural Health Conference and the World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion this year, and delivering training to service providers and health professionals.
While the continuing presence of COVID-19 has provided us with some challenges, there have nevertheless been silver linings! Our 2022 Symposium ‘Farming a Brighter Future: Challenging boundaries to farmer health, wellbeing and safety’ was delivered as a hybrid event – bringing over 80 people together face-to-face and opening the program up to a larger, more geographically diverse audience online. Who would have thought that would be possible a few short years ago? Our Campfire podcast series is going from strength to strength – with 18 episodes released (and 2 more due for release in the coming weeks)—getting the message out about farmer health, wellbeing and safety in new and exciting ways. Did you miss attending one of our face-to-face health assessments this year? Never fear!! We now have an online health assessment tool ‘Farmer HAT’ that you can complete. Great for supporting those New Year resolutions.
Farming is challenging at the best times, but floods and extreme weather events across 2022 have added a new level of complexity across a wide range of farming communities. The Centre has been busy ramping up support for flood-affected farmers through our #BuildingFarmSpirit campaign – incorporating community members sharing stories through social media, support for community events encouraging social connection and wellbeing, training for trusted advisers supporting our farmers, and free access to farmer health trained psychologists. This work will continue into 2023.
2023 is shaping up to be another big year and we look forward to you all being part of it. But, until then, our team would like to wish you a safe Christmas and New Year. We know it’s an incredibly busy period for some, and for others a chance to take some downtime. Whatever it looks like for you, make sure you find ways to fill your cup and restore your mental, emotional and physical energy.
Dr Alison Kennedy.
Director of the National Centre for Farmer Health.