Born in Ceduna on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, Jacki grew up on family farm ‘Kalambi’ before relocating to Franklyn Station in the State’s Mid North in 1987. A former nurse, Jacki is also a mother of two, a farmer, a gardener and an accomplished cook, who is now based on a property in the Eden Valley. Jacki is well-known amongst her community as a remarkably resilient and yet gentle soul, who loves the bush and is happiest spending time with her friends and family.     

When asked what concerned Jacki about the work health and safety of those in rural industries, she recalled an incident whereby a worker had received a kick to the knee whilst handling cattle. Jacki highlighted the initial resistance of the worker to see a doctor, and yet upon eventually seeing one, the by chance discovery of an underlying health condition which may have otherwise cost his life. Jacki heeds the advice to always use a cattle crush, to remain acutely aware of animal behaviour, and to make sure you visit the doctor on a routine basis.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Trying to be independent. 

What's one achievement you are most proud of?

Relocating to a wetter location.

What makes you truly happy?

The company of my children.

What do you love the most about being a rural woman?

My garden, and having barbecues with friends. 

Not living anywhere near a town or the city, enjoying the outdoors / environment and the feeling of respect that exists in rural communities.  

Tell me about a time when you felt worried about your own or someone else’s health, safety or wellbeing on the farm, boat or in some other aspect of rural life.

We were preparing cattle for market and a workman and I were in the yard and he tried to push a young bull into another pen and it kicked him in the knee. Very painful and debilitating. [It] took him a week to see the need for a doctor and the one he needed to see required him to reluctantly go to Adelaide. 

As it turned out, due to this need to go to the doctor for his knee, routine blood tests were carried out which revealed the need to take a blood thinner for the rest of his life. If the bull hadn’t kicked him he might have had a stroke by now!

That particular worker is now a lot less ‘gung-ho’, more aware and more conscious of the potential danger. Perhaps through that, my son (Sam) is now more careful moving around the yards.

What practical things did or could you, your partner and / or others do to prevent someone from getting hurt?

Always use a cattle crush. Be aware – constantly – of an uneasy animal. Be slow and deliberate.

Move around the yards on the fence rails if there is a potentially angry beast.

"Always use a cattle crush. Be aware - constantly - of an uneasy animal. Be slow and deliberate. Move around the yards on the fence rails if there is a potentially angry beast."

Is there a time, place or scenario when your partner / workers are more willing to make changes to the way work is done? 

Learning from experience is the best way for change to happen in the Mattey household.

Share your story!

Everybody knows someone who’s been hurt at work in rural industries.

No matter what role you fill, where you come from or how long you’ve lived in a rural or regional area, we are ALL responsible for looking out for the health, safety and wellbeing of ourselves, and of others.

Thirty years ago no-one wore seatbelts. Today we do it without even thinking about it.

Join the conversation today.

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