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Rural Insights

Boarding Prefect Lucy (Year 12) shares her wisdom on making a difference, drawing from her rich and woolly experiences on the family sheep farm.

Each week, our student leaders share their insights with their peers in Assembly.

I come from a small country town called Coonamble, seven hours away from Sydney, in the middle of Woop Woop. Our farm has 11,000 acres, around 1,500 sheep and 80 cattle. A so-called “bonding” activity that my family likes is sheep work. Yep, that’s it – sheep work. While you might think lambs and sheep are really cute, they’re really not. My dad likes to think of this as “family time” when the whole family gets up at the crack of dawn for a full day of running and chasing sheep around the yards on a hot summer’s day. What more could you want? So, the fun begins at 5am – already off to a great start. And this is before the tagging and worming of 1,500 sheep enters the equation.

Now, the thing with sheep is, they are not that smart and like to cause havoc. They enjoy causing stress and making your and their lives that much harder. For this reason, sheep yards are very interesting places – they really show someone’s true colours, including how much “paddock talk” (as my parents like to call it), can come from the mouth of one human being. While this does make for a very tense day, we all come together as a family for a mean sausage sizzle at lunchtime and by the end of the day, are one big happy family again.

Now, you are probably wondering why this girl from the middle of nowhere is talking to you about sheep. Well, the moral of the story is that there are many different ways of putting your “hands in”. I know from personal experience that while sheep yards really remind you not to get on your parents’ bad side, I also know that if my whole family didn’t come together and put our “hands in”, we wouldn’t be able to get through those 1,500 sheep in one day. I’m not telling you to put your hands into everything or take your friends to a sheep yard to see their true colours. I am just saying that putting your “hands in” doesn’t have to mean taking massive action. In fact, I encourage you to put your “hands in”, no matter how big or small the impact may seem.