Born in Sydney, Jane grew up in the former mining town of Broken Hill in the far west of New South Wales. Upon marrying her husband Richard in 1985, Jane then spent the next eighteen years living on remote sheep stations in South Australia’s North-East Pastoral. Now based in Roxby Downs, Jane is happiest spending time with her family; camping, reading and absorbing the remarkable sense of freedom the Australian outback has to offer. With a keen interest in the current state of affairs, Jane is also avid follower of politics, studied law and economics at university and is a proud Life Member of the Isolated Children’s and Parent’s Association.
When asked what concerned Jane about the work health and safety of those in rural industries, Jane recalled her incessant worry at the prospect of either her husband or her son becoming injured, hours away from medical help should there be an emergency. Jane heeds the advice to always ensure the station’s Royal Flying Doctor Service First Aid Kit is well-stocked and up to date, and to teach your children to be careful without being over cautious.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Caring, flexible and knowledgeable.
What's one achievement you are most proud of?
What makes you truly happy?
Being with our family, camping, reading, looking at art, watching the news and current affairs and dreaming about our future.
What do you love the most about being a rural woman?
Outback skies, interesting people and a sense of freedom and space.
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.
Worried about my husband flying, especially in weather that seemed dangerous, although I know he was a very safe and cautious pilot.
I always worried something might happen to our son on the station – and we’d be hours away from help.
What practical things did or could you, your partner and / or others do to prevent someone from getting hurt?
Learn a bit more about flying.
Taught our son how to be careful without being over cautious.
Ensured the Royal Flying Doctor Service First Aid Kit was always up to date.
Is there a time, place or scenario when your partner / workers are more willing to make changes to the way work is done?
When they’re not busy and not in the middle of doing something.
[It] was hard as a manager’s wife to effect much change, though that may have changed now.
Share your story!
Everybody knows someone who’s been hurt at work in rural industries, and no matter what role you fill, where you come from or how long you’ve lived in a rural or regional area, we all have a responsibility to start a conversation for change.
Thirty years ago no-one wore seatbelts. Today we do it without even thinking about it.
Join the conversation today.