Rural resilience shines at Dubbo Show

Hard at work: Kate and Lucy Parkes with their border lester rams during judging at the Dubbo Show. Photo: Amy McIntyre.
Hard at work: Kate and Lucy Parkes with their border lester rams during judging at the Dubbo Show. Photo: Amy McIntyre.

For three days, the 145th edition of the Regional Australia Bank Dubbo Show put a smile on the faces of a sector within our community that are doing it tough. A prolonged period of dry, hot weather has made things difficult for our primary sector in recent times, but through it all they still turned up with their sheep and cattle and showed them off with pride.

They baked their traditional family favourite cakes, biscuits and slices, showed off their home-grown fruit and vegetables, and on the surface you wouldn’t have known there was much wrong.

The irony that the first day of the show was decimated by persistent drizzle, albeit it wasn’t a decent fall, and freezing cold temperatures was lost on nobody, especially Dubbo Show Society president Chris Edwards.

The show and harness racing are two of his passions in life, and on the same day and night they were each hampered by the weather.

But, in true farming fashion, Chris and his band of willing workers were back at the showground on Saturday to face whatever the day would bring.

Thankfully the weather was a bit kinder and the crowds flocked back to watch the parade, the crowning of Miss Showgirl and Teen Showgirl, and to enjoy sideshow alley.

Lifeline is the organisation that was supported by this year’s show, and it was terrific to have the organisation’s chairman John Brogden and Central West director Alex Ferguson in attendance at the official opening of the show on Saturday.

With the big dry taking its toll, suicide among men and women on the land is becoming a more and more important topic.

With bills mounting and a lack of income coming in, some see it as their only resort.

But that very thought pattern is why this year’s Dubbo Show is so important.

While most of us enjoyed a dagwood dog and a ride on the ferris wheel, the dollars we poured into the show were being filtered to a very worthwhile organisation

And while those three days of having their minds taken off their plight is great for our farming community, knowing there is support out there and how to access it is even better.