Host: Influential Women
Written by Carly Brooks – CEO, Influential Women.
Selamat Pagi Central Station,
Hang onto your hat – IW is going to take you where no man has gone before; on a mission to empower women in agriculture in East Java and WA. We’ve taken the leg work out of it so you don’t require a red eye flight to Surabaya or a character building amount of time in a minibus.
IW’s #1 asset is its network of progressive rural women. This made it hard to draft off just seven WA farming women to champion this pilot project with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) in WA. The WA delegation collectively manages millions of acres of cattle stations, hundreds of dairy cows, acres of prime cropping land, and truckloads of woolly jumbucks. This knowledge sharing adventure needed an oversized baggage ticket to cart all of the enthusiasm and experience into East Java.
With Mazz and her Bahasa Indonesian at the wheel, we dove straight into a foreign world and despite the gob smacking cultural differences, we kept our heads well above water. Rural women do not need a translator to understand each other’s plight. Food, family, farming. The need to produce and maintain life through sustainable practices was the overarching shared value.
What the Indonesian women lacked in land and finances, they made up for in patience and community. The WA women envied the natural support networks the Indonesian women lived and worked in and the Indonesian women devoured the Aussies’ inherent business knowledge.
Against a backdrop of rice paddies and nerve-racking traffic, beef industry producers and consumers came together. Helen Campion of Anna Plains Station searched the wet market for some quality beef to gift to our hosts and Alys McKeough of Carey Downs Station chatted to local ‘sapi’ farmers about animal husbandry.
The trip was held together with belly laughs, banquets, and an alarming amount of light bulb moments that occurred under peaked caps and hijabs alike. It became apparent that the art of juggling a farming business, community commitments, and raising a family knows no language barrier. It was also noted that our northern neigbours love camera phones and have a much smaller flight zone than their southern sisters.
Terima Kasih East Java