While times might be tough in the bush, a new breed of men and women are rising to meet the challenges they face. Innovation, diversification, education and plain hard work are part of their armoury.

Story By Tim Hughes

Ask Georgie Somerset about her life and the response is exhausting. There’s the management of an 800-breeder cattle operation she runs with husband Rob across five properties in the Durong area near Kingaroy, in the South Burnett region of south-east Queensland. She also heads to Brisbane for quarterly meetings of an advisory group helping roll out the State Government’s FarmBis scheme, which subsidises approved training and learning programs for regional Australians. Then there are her trips to Canberra four times a year as a member of the National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC), an advisory body to the Federal Minister for Agriculture on a range of issues including infrastructure and drought – something that also involved a five-day tour of drought-ravaged areas across three states in June 2005.
And at all times, there’s what she sees as her most important role, being the mother of Ben, 10, Macartney, nine, and Gemma, five. “It’s a juggle, there’s no doubt,” she says, chirpily. “You just hope that what you do can make a difference.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #44

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2006