“Throughout my time as a graduate OT, I travelled countless kilometres to service remote communities. The country was barren, and the drought continued to persevere,” Meg says.
“Rainfall measures were record low and the dust storms were rolling in on a frequent basis. Farmers were exhausted – mentally, physically, and financially. My family and friends were in the heart of this drought, and it was completely and utterly demoralising.
Financially strained, many farmers refrained from hiring staff, which reduced their likelihood of leaving their property and engaging in meaningful occupations. Many farmers had not had a break from their property for five-plus years – their work life balance was non-existent.”
In December 2019, Meg developed the Two Young Farmers initiative, announcing their intentions among the community. Within 48 hours a rural Queensland company – Country Allure – contacted the Clothiers and offered to sponsor the campaign.
Although the COVID-19 restrictions slowed down their travelling between states and properties, Meg and Oliver stayed on a property for eight weeks during the peak of the pandemic in SA and reflected on their experience.
Meg gained a short-term contract with a private OT business – Total Therapy Solutions – and once the Northern Territory border reopened with SA, they were back on the road helping farmers.
Meg has reached her goals of being a rural clinician as well as giving tireless producers a chance to ‘fill their cup’ to avoid burning out or breaking down.
She already has her eye on further qualifications, by aiming to complete a Graduate Diploma in Remote Health Practice, leading into a Master of Remote and Indigenous Health at Flinders.
“It’s an honour to be a Flinders University alumna,” Meg adds.