Din­ner unites dairy­ing women

Shepparton News - Country News - - INTERNATIONAL DAIRY WEEK 2018 -

Women from across the coun­try gath­ered at In­ter­na­tional Dairy Week to network, learn and in­spire each other, as part of the third Power of Women in Dairy din­ner.

The din­ner cel­e­brates the strong, pas­sion­ate and suc­cess­ful women in­volved in the dairy in­dus­try and or­gan­iser Jade Sieben said it was great to see so many at­tend and en­joy some time away from the farm.

Cel­e­bra­tions in­cluded the an­nounce­ment of the win­ner of the Bette Hall Power of Women in Dairy Award for Ex­cel­lence, which was pre­sented to Pam Mal­colm.

Ms Mal­colm, from Paringa Hol­steins at Ste­warton (near Shep­par­ton) is a mas­ter breeder and well known in the dairy com­mu­nity.

‘‘Pam has been breed­ing top pro­duc­tion cows in Australia and New Zealand for the last five decades and is well known through­out the coun­try for her ded­i­ca­tion to the dairy in­dus­try,’’ Ms Sieben said.

‘‘Pam once told me . . . ‘Life does not get any eas­ier but we are all still here be­cause of our love for the black-and-white cow’ — and that, I think, sums Pam up very well.’’

Ms Mal­colm was over­whelmed and hon­oured to re­ceive the award and, fight­ing back tears, she told the crowd she bred cows be­cause, sim­ply, it was what she loved.

The night also in­cluded guest speaker and for­mer dairy farmer Di Schu­bert.

The Bette Hall Power of Women in Dairy Award for Ex­cel­lence re­cip­i­ent for 2018 was Pam Mal­com (cen­tre). She is flanked by pre­vi­ous win­ners Lyn Boyd (left) and Jenny Grey.

Ms Schu­bert spoke about her ca­reer in the in­dus­try and the highs and lows she ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing that time, in­clud­ing tak­ing over the run­ning of the dairy farm af­ter the un­ex­pected loss of her first hus­band, the joy of show­ing cows and the low of los­ing a third of her dairy herd to bot­u­lism.

Amelia Mor­ris from Nagam­bie spoke about her per­sonal bat­tle with men­tal ill­ness, a bat­tle which led her to at­tempt to take her own life in 2015.

Ms Mor­ris is an am­bas­sador for Ory­gen, the Na­tional Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence in Youth Health.

‘‘There is no shame in hav­ing a men­tal ill­ness, it’s no dif­fer­ent to be­ing phys­i­cally ill and I do think things are chang­ing and there is a lot more aware­ness around the is­sue than there used to be. It is so im­por­tant to speak about it and not hide it away,’’ Ms Mor­ris said.

The night con­cluded with a pa­rade of vin­tage Chris­tian Dior hats as part of the Hats for Hope pro­gram (a fundrais­ing ini­tia­tive that sup­ports Ory­gen). ■ Any­one need­ing help can phone Life­line Australia on 131 114. Men­tal

Recog­nised . . .

Bat­tle shared . . . Guest speaker Amelia Mor­ris from Nagam­bie spoke about her bat­tle with men­tal ill­ness, her sui­cide at­tempt and her road to re­cov­ery. She is now a pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate for men­tal health in ru­ral ar­eas.

Ad­dress­ing the au­di­ence . . . San­dra Ken­tish from the Univer­sity of Melbourne’s ARC Dairy In­no­va­tion Hub spoke at the IDW dairy lead­ers’ break­fast.

En­joy­ing the event . . . Guests at the third an­nual Power of Women din­ner at In­ter­na­tional Dairy Week.

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