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Alana Black

Age: 25
Career: Marketing and Communications
Studies: Post Graduate Studies in a Masters of Organisational Communication as well as a Cert IV in Small Business
Location: Rydal, New South Wales and Sydney, Australia
Origin: Rydal, New South Wales, Australia
Alana Black

About Me

Our farm which is located outside the small town of Rydal in New South Wales has been home to our family since the 1860s when my ancestors emigrated to Australia from England.

My childhood was idyllic; always outside and on horseback exploring bush land around home. After I graduated from university I headed for Sydney to start my career in communications. I thought I would love the hustle and bustle of the city, but very quickly homesickness set in and I was travelling home every weekend (around a 2 ½ commute). I now live between Sydney and Rydal and hope to transition back home permanently by the end of 2019.

Rural life

I am involved in lots of different community groups – I believe they are so important to the social aspect of living regionally.

In 2017 I created a project called Fledgling Farmers to ignite a conversation around succession in farming families. This project is important to me as when you work in agriculture you are subject to so many different influences from market prices to government legislations, so by raising awareness around issues like this, and empowering farmers to take back the conversation on succession, I am hoping to make the transition easier for future generations.

I am part of the New South Wales Next Generation Agricultural Society Council which looks to secure the future of agricultural shows by encouraging the next generation to get involved. Rydal Show has also been a big part of my life since the age of five with various roles from cake taster to horse steward. The show is fondly known as the ‘Biggest Little Show in the West’.

Other voluntary work I get involved in includes the Daffodils at Rydal Festival – a local community initiative that raises money for local charities by locals opening their gardens and the Can Too Foundation who train everyday Aussies for events such as half marathons and ocean swims to raise money for cancer research.

Rural challenges

Rydal is a small town with around 50 residents and a pub, but that’s all you need for a thriving country community. There is a common saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and this is exactly the experience I’ve had growing up in regional Australia. The beautiful scenery of the ‘sun-burnt’ country and the clean Aussie air is unbeatable and something I really cherish with my rural life.

However, living regionally can be tough. For the most part I live in Rydal, but after experiencing city life I’ve become more aware of the disparity between city and country including lack of equality, the cost of young people getting into agricultural, poor broadband (this has stopped me moving home full time) and the disconnect between city and country.

I also feel greater investment in mental health services, better access to high speed broadband and safer roads is key for development and the continuation of strong rural communities.

Alana’s Vlogs