When Colin Munro was asked if he’d like three gor­geous ponies for his lit­tle girls, he said yes — but he wasn’t ex­pect­ing what came with them. “There was a bloke in Rober­ston who said, ‘We’re mov­ing

Country Style - - A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR - Vic­to­ria Carey

back to Syd­ney — do you want some ponies?’ and when I said, ‘Ab­so­lutely,’ think­ing of the girls’ Christ­mas presents, he added, ‘Great, but you also have to take the al­paca and two Hol­stein Friesian cows.’ So, I think we might’ve been conned!” he ex­plains. The story on page 26 of how he and wife Brooke spent Christ­mas Eve ty­ing pink rib­bons to trees so their daugh­ters Arkie and Ruby could find their sur­prise presents in the pad­dock the next morn­ing cap­tured ev­ery­one’s imag­i­na­tions — I think there are quite a few peo­ple in this of­fice, in­clud­ing me, who wished for a pony for Christ­mas when they too were lit­tle. Pho­tog­ra­pher Marnie Haw­son was in the mid­dle of or­gan­is­ing an AGA to be in­stalled in her kitchen when I called and asked if we could fea­ture her Rid­dells Creek home in this is­sue. She bravely said yes — thank you, Marnie! — and you would never be able to tell by look­ing at the im­ages on page 42 that parts of the house were a build­ing site only hours be­fore our shoot. There is so much in­no­va­tion in the bush and we are con­stantly find­ing in­spir­ing re­gional busi­nesses to fea­ture on our pages. And now, more than ever be­fore, is an im­por­tant time to sup­port them, so please turn to our re­gional shop­ping guide on page 104 — you’re sure to find plenty of things to cross off your Christ­mas present list. And, on page 62, we talked to Juli­ette Wright, the founder of Givit (an or­gan­i­sa­tion that helps di­rect do­na­tions to the right place), who spoke about the im­por­tance of sup­port­ing peo­ple on the land. “We need to re­mind both donors and the gen­eral pub­lic that when it rains, it’s not the end of suf­fer­ing for farm­ers who may not have stock left or have to con­sider al­ter­nate in­come streams. We have to sup­port drought-af­fected com­mu­ni­ties to en­sure long-term re­cov­ery — it will take two to three years at least to get them back into a po­si­tion of strength.” Wish­ing you all a won­der­ful Christ­mas.

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