Welcome to our Tell it Well stories from people living in the Murrumbidgee.

Sharing stories is part of everyday life. We have done it for centuries –
imparting knowledge, sharing experiences and lessons, or relaying tales of hardship and triumph.

Our Tell it Well stories aim to support people living the Murrumbidgee by letting them know they are not alone on their journey. Provide tips, hints and tricks for improving health and wellbeing generally, and specific details of where to go for more help. 

These first eight stories aim to inspire those people living with the impacts of drought by offering practical tips to support their mental health and wellbeing and foster resilience.

 We would like to thank each of our storytellers for their contribution to helping improve the health of their local communities.

The drought is difficult. It’s impacting us in the way of not knowing what crops to plant, knowing when to buy water. Water is just such a huge issue. It’s the main issue. It controls everything. It’s really stressful not being able to actually just do your job and farm and grow food.
— Julie Andreazza



Benefits of being active are many

Ginny Stevens is the driving force behind Active Farmers.

Growing up on a farm in Tasmania and now living on a farm at Mangoplah, 30kms south of Wagga Wagga, with her husband Andy Ginny knows better than most the challenges farmers face in staying fit and well.

Impact beyond the farm

Growing up on a farm, Michael Gooden knows what it’s like when things get tough on the land.

Seeing paddocks at his family farm being blown away by wind during the Millennium drought, Michael realised he needed to find new ways of managing the land.

During times like this, the mettle and measure of society gets tested, but we are seeing many examples of people coming together to help and support each other – donations, drought relief initiatives, the Hay Runners – and I think the most important thing is that we encourage people to reach out to their neighbours and family and friends, because they’re not alone.
— Graeme Kruger

Health of the people; health of the land

In his line of work, Greg Packer travels the region extensively.

Greg is Senior Land Service Officer /Aboriginal Communities with Riverina Local Land Services (LLS). It is his job to engage with Aboriginal communities, conducting cultural site assessments on farming properties and to provide advice to his LLS colleagues.

The power of positive

“We know that everybody will experience grief, sadness, devastation at some point. No one escapes it. It's how quickly you can recover that's so important.”

Katrina Myers is happy to talk candidly about her experiences with loss, anxiety and the importance of taking care of her wellbeing.

If you’re feeling a bit down, go and fix the worst set of gates on the farm. It’s one thing you can do to get your mind off the dry times and give you the satisfaction of getting those gates in order and swinging properly.
— Ross Edwards

Recognising the signs

Dr Khaled Bardawil is on the frontlines of community health.

For the past 12 years, Khaled has been the GP in Lake Cargelligo, a town of about 1500 people located in Central West NSW. During this time, he has seen his community effected by population decline, economic downturn and weather events such as drought.

More than a handshake

John Harper is an animated man, but when he starts talking about the wellbeing of regional Australians, his energy is contagious.

The retired farmer and shearer from Stockinbingal is a passionate advocate for mental health and the powerhouse behind Mate helping Mate, a self-help program to address depression in rural communities.