Host: Zoe Hayes
Location: North West Queensland
Hi my name is Zoe Hayes,
I’m hoping that my story may inspire and/or empower someone reading this today. My story begins back in 1994 when I was born but let’s skip a fair few paces forward to September 2012 where my life was hugely impacted by my mums death – suicide; a word society still struggles to acknowledge. My mum’s death was something I could have never imagined being 17 years old. Being an only child & a child of divorce, I was left feeling completely alone regardless of the friends & extended family surrounding me. But wait I’m not here to tell you my sob story. I’m here to tell you in three simple words what I’ve learnt – Life goes on!
Regardless of my hardships & heartaches I’ve endured at such a young age; seen & experienced things no child should ever have to go through, I have come out a very strong, independent & ambitious young lady (well I like to think so anyway). Depression & suicide is a horrible mental experience to go through let alone explain to someone else. I’ve had days where I refused to leave the comfort of my duvet covers & mood swings like you’ve never seen before (this girl can throw a tantrum!) but these little steps have given me a whole new outlook on life & allowed me to lead a very successful life being a full-time Jillaroo on a cattle station in North/ West Queensland plus running two of my own businesses on the side.
My quick “pick me up” guide to finding inner happiness:
- Find something to be grateful for in each day no matter how insignificant it may seem
- Always have a dream or goal to work towards – one of my all time favourite quotes “if your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough!”
- Surround yourself with happy, radiant, exciting people – “your vibe attracts your tribe” – you want people to inspire you, motivate & support you!
- Enjoy an 80/20 lifestyle – work, social life, eating habits, hobbies etc., life is all about balance. Enjoy your guilty pleasures now & then don’t beat yourself up with guilt over them.
- Lastly find something you love about yourself, something you truly love about you, weather it be something physical, emotional, intellectual what ever that quality is love it; flaunt it!
Having these little affirmations to look back on has really helped me over come a lot of the challenges rural women face in what can sometimes still feel like a very male dominated industry.
I have had the honor of some incredible journalists cover my story, and this is one I am extremely humbled by:
“For someone so young Zoe Hayes has made great strides as a stockwoman, as well as an emerging leader in the rural and agricultural sectors. Based in North West Queensland, the 23 year old has had quite a journey in her career so far, from jillaroo, to small business owner, to international mental health advocate, she is one to watch.
Not from a farming background, it was early on at secondary school when a couple of ringers from Jumbuck Pastoral were guest speakers at her school talking to the students about the jobs available on stations. “I just thought to myself, “I want to do that.”
Fast forward a few years and Zoe is currently working as a jillaroo for the Curley Families Brahman cattle stud, Gipsy Plains Brahmans, in Cloncurry, Queensland. She is also the proud owner of two small personal business’s. ZHE, a rural photography page which she aspires to take from hobby to a viable business, entwining her love of agriculture, rural photography as well as family portraiture. Her second business is ‘Made by zoehayes_eaton’, a small handmade clothing and craft business currently located on a cattle station in north/west Queensland. Zoe spends her spare time behind the lens and making bright, bold, colourful creations.
Over this wet season Zoe spent her holiday travelling down central Queensland and to Tamworth New South Wales. It was whilst on holiday she heard of the death of Dolly Everett and it struck something within her. Having lost her mum to suicide in 2012 and attempting to take her own life in 2016, Zoe knew that we all needed to start talking more openly about mental health and suicide.
So this inspirational AgWomen started the #DollupDepression campaign on Facebook and Instagram. Pledging to donate 10% of her ‘Made by zoehayes_eaton’ proceeds to Beyond Blue for the whole of 2018.
“I’ve created this page because I want to make a difference. I’m inspired by the work that Beyond Blue does and I want to support them. Every donation helps and makes a significant impact to mental health in Australia, so thank you for your generosity.”
Zoe has dreams of using her experiences, determination and drive to become a public speaker and to working with youth who may be struggling, and in particular ones effected by mental health issues within the Australian agriculture and rural industries.
Zoe, you have been through so much already in your life, your strength and resilience is a true testament to you, and we admire your passion and drive for helping others. The agriculture industry will only benefit from having such a great advocate speaking out about the real effects of mental health. Thank you, keep up the amazing work.
If you want to help #DollupDepression to make a difference then follow this link to the Every Day Hero fundraising page- https://individual-fundraiser-ongoing.everydayhero.com/au/dollupdepression “