People forgive but they rarely forget

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Forgiving someone is easy, but being able to trust them again is a totally different story

As Malcolm Turnbull prepares his apology to the survivors of Sexual Abuse   I had a stark reminder of how the pain never goes away

When the CSIRO removed this stunning time lapse video of a cotton boll opening from their website I loaded it on ours

Yesterday this comment appeared

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I am confident you will agree forgiving and forgetting is great in theory, but in reality it’s difficult. Lets not beat ourselves up if we don’t achieve both.  Forgiving allows us to move on but we don’t forget either, so we can take the valuable life lessons with us.

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Turning the anti-bullying conversation around

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You can find this poster here

When we use the word anti-bullying, we are articulating what we don’t want. So in this instance I ask the question … what do we want?

The counter position to bullying is lost in the current conversations, which is the opportunity to recognise preferred behaviour.

It’s easy to be against and say no .. more difficult to be for and say yes
May be it’s time we got clear and created a turnaround in the conversation?

This quote is an extract of a comment from reader Andrew on my post Is the Mean Mob Mentality Out Of Control .  See footnote

I am confident we will all agree that Andrew makes a very valid point

When you Google ‘Modelling Anti-Bullying Behaviour’ Google Scholar offers a plethora of articles 

Social science research tells us if we craft the message that signals preferred behaviour we get preferred behaviour.

Using an example I saw at boys school I visited in 2016. The sign in the foyer said “65% of men and boys interviewed think domestic violence occurs”

The social scientists tell us this sign models negative behaviour. The ideal sign would say “100% of men think domestic violence is wrong.”

Clearly the image at the top of the post is a great example of modelling preferred behaviour. See article here

Love other readers thoughts on how we rise to challenge that Andrew has posed

Footnote

Andrew’s comment on the original blog

Where I’m coming from is contrarian to many, so please read to the end.
This is not a criticism of what’s happening in general or the posts and comments here.

In grappling with the issue we are faced with in relation to personal attacks in social and mainstream media we need to call out bullying for what it is, and those carrying out that behaviour need to be held to account.

At this time I’m reminded of Sister Teresa of Calcutta.
She was asked to attend an “anti-war” rally, where the proponents would have obviously used her presence to leverage the PR.
Sister Teresa’s response was if you can explain to me what you are for, I’ll consider it.

When we use the word anti-bullying, we are articulating what we don’t want. So in this instance I ask the question … what do we want?

Using Sister Teresa’s framework … if we are anti bullying, what are we for?

The counter position to bullying is lost in the current conversations, which is the opportunity to recognise preferred behaviour.

We know what we don’t want but, have difficulty articulating what we do want.
When training dogs, we reward positive behaviour for the obvious reason, with young children we do the same when it comes to behaviours. Or we should.

So what behaviour do we wish to recognise as it applies to social and mainstream media behaviour?
It’s easy to be against and say no .. more difficult to be for and say yes
May be it’s time we got clear and created a turnaround in the conversation?

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Persistence and Determination are all conquering

 

This week marks 12 months since I tore my hamstring off the bone – a very serious and rare injury. See backstory here 

I had two options – surgery which had many risks and a long recovery period or very extensive rehab.

I chose rehab. I am very excited to say at this point in time I am a hamstring avulsion conservative treatment rehab success story. Very few people with this injury get the movement back that I have.

I have also learnt at lot about me. I always wanted to be fit but avoided gym classes like the plague. I always considered myself unco – the aerobic class would be waving to the left and I would be waving to the right and when I started fitball classes that is exactly what happened. But its one big family at my rehab gym and everyone laughed along with me and encouraged me and I have got it. Go me ( I may even start dance classes)

TRX, now that was another animal all together. No matter what my personal trainer said  there was no way anyone was going to get me to hang from the ceiling.

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Then I found out a fortnight ago that classes I was attending where going to become circuit classes and TRX could be part of the circuit. So I put my big girl pants on and booked a 30 min TRX personal training session and guess what I can now add TRX to one of the things I have mastered in the last 12 months

TRX is about trust as is balance. Me trusting that not only will the rope hold me as well as me trusting me. Balance remains the stumbling point. One leg trusting the other that it can hold me up. You should see me at night sitting in my lounge room watching Netflix or SBS OnDemand on one leg on my fitball lifting weights

The last 12 months has taught me talent and intellect come nowhere near determination and persistence as markers for success.  I know success at the gym relies on technique combined with persistence and determination to get the technique right. I relish my technique being corrected in front of others, its means I am being watched and they care about me.  I ask questions as often as it takes to get it right and I still have a lot to learn but learning I am. I am very proud of me and I have also lost 5 kgs (extra awesome)

We can all get value from Calvin Coolidge’s wise words. Lets not be afraid to do the hard yards.  Lets be brave enough to ask advice and wise enough take it.  Persistence and Determination are omnipotent

#gogirlfriend #strongwomen

 

Walk a Mile in my Shoes – Farming and the Power of Authentic Stories

When I came back to the farm after a 25-year career as a community retail pharmacist I was invited by my local council to sit on their Economic Development Committee. I jumped at the chance to give agriculture an added voice in local government and to see how local government worked.

A bonus came when I found myself invited to government and community events where an agricultural perspective was valued

One of these events was a conference held by our five regional partner councils on Sustainable Food. The guest speaker on Sustainable Agriculture was Rosemary Stanton. I must admit I was flabbergasted. What does a TV “celebrity dietitian”  know about Sustainable Agriculture?

Well as it turned out Rosemary was very entertaining and had some very strong opinions. But had she walked a mile in my farming family’s shoes? Had she been at the coal face through the droughts and flooding rains? Did she feed, clothe and put a roof over her family’s heads from the returns of farming?  And of course, the answer to all of those questions was no.

This inspired me to start an organisation that would provide the agriculture sector with the skills, knowledge and networks to share authentic farming stories told by people at the coal face from the heart.

Today that organisation is called Picture You in Agriculture. With the support of our collaborating partners 80 young people (Young Farming Champions/YFC) in the agriculture sector from a diverse array of careers have attended intensive and extensive communication skills workshops over the last seven years. These young people are going into schools as part of The Archibull Prize

Our YFC know that 90 per cent of human behaviour and decision making is driven by our emotions. They go into schools not to educate but to share their stories, their memories, the triumphs and the challenges and the excitement they feel to have careers in agriculture

Are they kicking goals?

The graphs below show the percentage increase of teachers who STRONGLY AGREED with the question posed before and after participating in The Archibull Prize and a visit from a Young Farming Champion 

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Malabar Public School Teacher Louise Dique shares how Young Farming Champions can establish an easy rapport with students by bringing their stories and families into the school, to excite and motivate the students. 

Stories are about collaboration and connection. They transcend generations, they engage us through emotions, and they connect us to others. Through stories we share passions, sadness, hardships and joys. We share meaning and purpose. Stories are the common ground that allows people to communicate, overcoming our defenses and our differences. Stories allow us to understand ourselves better and to find our commonality with others.

The Young Farming Champions and The Archibull Prize are combining the ancient art of story telling with creative arts and multimedia to reconnect producers and consumers, farmers and communities in a way that frames the life-long perspective of the people they meet. I would say they are kicking goals to the moon and back. What do you think?

#archie10 #art4ag #YFC18 #farming #farmers #agriculture

 

 

Gender inequality and who inherits the family farm

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Katherine Bain – Her father says passion, not gender, will be the deciding factor in who takes over the running of the farm.

I have always being proud to say I stand up for what I believe in but when I was approached about this story No country for women: family farms are tough soil for daughters to grow as farmers I ran a hundred miles in the other direction

It was just too close to the bone – from as early as we can remember my sister and I were told my brother would inherit the family farm.

A – because he was male and B because the family surname was the legacy he furthered

In my case despite my brother being an extremely nice person, the fact that he thought he was “entitled” because of A and B effectively destroyed our adult relationship

Super kudos to The Age journalist Neelima Choahan for being dogged in her determination to tell this story 

Quoting from the story in The Age

According to University of South Australia’s Leonnie Blumson​, who is doing a PhD in gender inequality in farming family inheritance, there is a huge disparity in the way sons and daughters are treated.

She says in Australia it is estimated that just 10 per cent of farm successors are daughters.

“It makes the gender wage gap look pretty trivial in comparison,” Ms Blumson says.

“Essentially, sons get the farm, which can be worth millions of dollars, whereas girls tend to just get whatever assets are leftover when the parents die.”

Ms Blumson, who is herself from a farming family, says most farmers are likely to sell the farm if they have a daughter.

As part of her research, Ms Blumson conducted interviews and an anonymous online survey asking farmers’ daughters to talk about their family’s inheritance.

She says one of the hardest things was to get the women to participate. Similarly, few women were willing to speak to The Age about their experience. None would do it on the record.

Ms Blumson says family loyalty often stops women from talking about the gender imbalance.

“Women are conditioned to accept things the way they are and not to speak out,” she says.

“And also speaking out would require them to acknowledge that they have been treated unfairly.”

And mega kudos to the Bain family for being the face of this story – its changemakers like you that ensure my sister and I are an anomaly of the future

“I have grown up on the farm my whole life,” Ms Bain says.

“Helping out dad on the farm and just running around after him, being a shadow for the last 20 years.”

Her role grew from being the main gate opener for her father to helping him muster sheep and move them around.

Her father says passion, not gender, will be the deciding factor in who takes over the running of the farm.

“Katherine was always interested in being outdoors,” Mr Bain says.

“She always had a good eye for livestock, she could pick up a sick sheep in a mob.

“She has always been one-track minded. She wanted to do something in agriculture even when she was quite young. Which path she takes now is up to her.”

When Ms Bain finishes her Bachelor of Business in Agribusiness at the end of this year she will also have a grounding in finance and marketing.

“Every farm is a business,” she says.  “Learning … the ins and out of business, is vital to running a farm.”

Her younger brother, Alexander, 21, is studying architecture.

And though, there is no succession plan in place yet, Ms Bain says it has always been clear which one of the two siblings is more interested in farming.

“I was always the one really excited to go out and help dad from early on,” she says. “Never thought about being anywhere else.

“When you are growing up on the farm you are always outside helping out, you do get dirt in your blood and it does kind of stick with you and you really don’t think about anything else you could do.”

ur generation is better placed to achieve gender equality than any other in the history of humanity. This is our opportunity to grasp, our campaign to join and it is our fight t

You can read more about Katherine here 

I am not just lucky but I may be seriously out of touch – but so what

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2018 sees me doing something I thought I would never do and that is read more non-fiction than fiction

At the top of the list is sitting the Self Help Genre.

To date Legacy – What the All Blacks can teach us about the Business of Life by James Kerr has been by the far the most thought provoking read I have had in a long time.

But I am a bit concerned about my lack of diversity of general knowledge. Does it make me a heathen that I have never heard of Richie McCaw before I read this book. Truth be told the only All Black I could name is Jonah Lomu. I did however know that Nick Far-Jones was a Wallaby when this story Wallaby legend Nick Farr-Jones could have faced one of his most elusive opponents in the early hours of Monday morning.popped onto my radar.

Today’s read was Not Just Lucky by Jamila Rizvi 

When I read this comment “Parents, who have spent significant time and sometimes money in their child’s education, want to be assured of a return on investment. They want to be told that their baby done good. To feel secure in the knowledge that a suburban brick house, the latest model Lexus and a Thermomix lie in their kid’s future.”

‘Thermomix’ oh my god what is that???  Is that why I didn’t win the Mother of the Year Award.  All good mothers apparently know that a Thermomix is a kitchen gadget –  that is not only a food-processor but one that also, weighs, cooks, chops, crushes, emulsifies, whips, mixes, steams, blends, kneads, grinds simmers, grates and mills.  Just how have a lived without one let alone had a lifetime payment plan to ensure the child had one ?

But worse still I hadn’t heard of the UpTalk and  Vocal Fry Epidemic  OMG to the Power of 10. How had I not heard of this? Am I guilty? Do I talk like this ?  Note rising inflection

On the positive side Professor Google is a power of knowledge and the diversity of my knowledge is certainly growing. I cant see myself ever having any desire to be able to recite every name in All Blacks line-up but I wont be forgetting the name of  most capped test rugby player of all time. See footnote

Jamila Rizvi hasn’t inadvertently destroyed my confidence as a conversationalist. In fact I am sitting in the front carriage of the train with her cheering when she says

Our generation is better placed to achieve gender equality than any other in the history of humanity. This is our opportunity to grasp, our campaign to join and it is our fight to be won. So get out there. Show the world your best, be confident and claim your achievements as your own. I’ll be right here, cheering you on from the sidelines. Because you’re not just lucky, you’re brilliant.

Footnote

For those of you Rugby Tragics who think I must be from Mars if I haven;t heard of Richie McCaw I now have no shortage of people on my team who can keep me informed. Special shoutout to Mandy McKeesick – who married the enemy . Another testimonial to the wisdom of surrounding yourself with the expertise you don’t have

Third Grade Hamstring tear – 12 months down the track

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This post delivers the third installment in my earlier promise to share my hamstring avulsion ( third grade hamstring tear) conservative treatment recovery journey.

See previous posts here

My third grade hamstring injury – a right pain in the butt 

My third grade hamstring tear – ham off the bone update

Third grade hamstring tears are classified as both ‘rare and serious’. Dr Google was an invaluable source of information and advice  when I found myself both  ‘rare and serious’ and potentially looking at a very nasty operation. It gives me great pleasure to bring you up to date at the almost 12 months post injury date

In my case conservative treatment appears to be a resounding success. I put this down to getting the best medical advice and rehabilitation specialists and being bloody determined

Bloody determined currently involves

  1. Four hours walking per week
  2. Six to eight hours of fully supervised Gym classes per week which include
    1. Weights
    2. Functional training
    3. Fitball with weights
    4. Balance classes
    5. Pilates stretch
    6. Pilates – my goodness you can even do Pilates with weights
  3. Regular Dr visits
  4. Power of Positive Thinking
  5. Rest and Relaxation

I have gone from being unfit to overexercising without advice ( leading to hamstring avulsion) to being fit and able to do almost anything (if I master the technique and that is one of the reasons you need supervision). Balance remains my one sticking point –  Its about one leg learning to trust the other can hold me up – its a mental thing I am working on

Mental as well as physical health also plays a big part in your ability to stay resilient.

I found the whole experience pretty unnerving from living in a house unsuitable for people with partial disabilities, the severe restriction on activities you can undertake and the isolation of living in the country.

I have renovated my house, grown my network of genuine friends and found other ways to do the things I love. For example I have a beautiful garden but was restricted with what I can actually achieve in it since I had a quad bike accident in 2008.

When I decided to renovate my house to accommodate a short term disabled person I also revisited how I could garden with a dodgy back.

When my original fern house was blown over in a storm the opportunity to build ‘The Orchid Palace’ was born. Its amazing what you can do with re-purposed doors and windows

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   My orchids are flourishing in their new home and they are giving me great joy 

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The Orchid Palace upgrade also allowed me to remodel the Poultry Palace

These little cuties know how to make me smile 

I have learnt the hard way like physical fitness, mental toughness is the result of a long-term conditioning programme – you can never be too prepared.

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