This week the Times team was delighted to catch up with several women as part of International Day of Rural Women.
And we want to thank those members in the community for alerting us to the fact that the day, sanctioned by the United Nations, was coming up, and suggesting some women we might like to talk to. Time didn't permit to get to all those inspiring women suggested but they are not forgotten, sometime soon they may receive a call from us.
The theme for International Day of Rural Women was COVID-related but the world-wide pandemic was only the latest of a series of hurdles the rural sector has faced. Their resilience is astounding. Droughts and floods are part of life, but the Manning has faced record events in a very short period of time. While the drought bit deeply over many months, even years, the March flooding was unprecedented and also unexpected. We were expecting moderate flooding at most, but that Friday night the rain just kept coming and it wasn't until dawn when the seriousness of the situation was revealed.
Christine George, one of our senior police officers, had to deal with a flooded home, cattle trapped by floodwater and the heartache of losing several calves, then putting that aside to go to work and help others caught up in the disaster. She managed to pack up two suitcases, a couple of boxes, her kitten, and her golf clubs.
Further downstream at Oxley Island, the Polson family and their dairy herd were watching water break the banks and continue to rise, as livestock, boats, hay bales and debris floated past their home.
A common theme was the help they received in the clean-up, unasked for.
In her own words, Woromi woman Em Trotter shares her love of the land and Country. The pandemic has provided her family with more time to enjoy their country life.
And Kerry MacAulay describes her move to Mitchells Island, where she and her husband run a small herd Angus cows and sheep, as "fulfillment of a dream". She says she is astounded by the richness and diversity of the cultural and community activities here in the Manning.
Links to all their stories are below.
This focus on rural women once again is an example of the wonderful community we live in. Got a good idea for a story? Please share.
FOOTNOTE: Today's photograph is from Taree Show 1971-72, which appears in a gallery on our website.