Singleton hosted the first Drought Support Farm Family Gathering on Monday night and it proved a much needed fillip with a chance for attendees to compare livestock feeding strategies and at the same time have a laugh with their mates.
Special guest was entertainer and bush poet Murray ‘Muz’ Hartin who has witnessed and lived through many a drought, flood and other natural disasters in the bush. His advice to survive this latest challenge is to get together with your mates as often as you can and talk about your issues whether that be farming related or personal battles with depression. “We need to recreate the the bush halls where everyone used to get together on regular basis,” he said. “For blokes this especially important to get them talking to each other and sharing a drink together and not drinking alone. Mental health in the bush is a real and ongoing problem made worse by droughts.”
Muz recited his poem ‘Rain from Nowhere’ published in 2007 which brought a few tears to the audience. Here is the first stanza.
“His cattle didn’t get a bid, they were fairly bloody poor, What was he going to do?
He couldn’t feed them anymore,
The dams were all but dry, hay was thirteen bucks a bale,
Last month’s talk of rain was just a fairytale,
His credit had run out, no chance to pay what’s owed,
Bad thoughts ran through his head as he drove down Gully Road”
Lifeline 131114 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636