Refugees will head to the bush in landmark NSW deal | Business Insider

Up to 30,000 refugees will be settled in New South Wales regional towns under a new deal signed by NSW Premier Mike Baird.Under the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) scheme, eligible asylum seekers will be able to apply to reside in NSW — excluding Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong — for five years, on the condition that they live and work in a country area.

Earlier this year, Mr Baird urged Abbott to “do more” about Australia’s intake for refugees especially after it was dropped from 20,000 to 13,750 places in 2013-14.“NSW stands ready … to take more than our fair share. Yes, we have strength in our finances but my strong sense is that means nothing, unless we offer help to those who are vulnerable amongst us,” said Baird.

The scheme kicks off on July 1 with plans to stimulate economic growth and development in “targeted” towns facing labour shortages such as Griffith and Wagga Wagga.“As Australia’s economic powerhouse, NSW has an obligation to open its arms to those who are genuine refugees,” Baird said in a statement.

Source: Refugees will head to the bush in landmark NSW government visa deal | Business Insider

Better roadside facilities on truck routes would draw more women to transport industry: driver – ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Julie Gooch drives road trains across the south west corner of Western Australia, from Geraldton, down to Esperance.But she is not your average truckie; she’s petite, fit and has degrees in music, teaching and law.

Source: Better roadside facilities on truck routes would draw more women to transport industry: driver – ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

AgVision Sydney to help address national agri-skills crisis

Banner_1For the first time, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) has partnered with the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) and Junee High School to bring AgVision to Sydney Showground on 29 July, an event designed to encourage and inspire young people to become the future of agriculture in Australia.

AgVision Sydney is an agri-careers exhibition that will provide secondary school pupils (Years 9 -11) with a unique chance to learn about the industry, while gaining a greater understanding of the wide-ranging careers available in agriculture, science and agri-business.

The initiative forms part of a national response to Australia’s agri-skills crisis, outlined by recent Government studies and reviews of the industry.

Murray Wilton, General Manager of Agriculture at the RAS, said AgVision Sydney will provide a platform for developing a greater connection between students and the agribusiness sector, where they can experience first-hand what it’s like to work in an industry trade or service.

“During AgVision Sydney, approximately 700 students will gain a hands-on learning experience through a selection of 50 workshops, which will be run by industry specialists and professionals from all over the state, who have established careers within the agricultural sector,” Mr Wilton said.

“Our mission is to deliver coordinated and engaging agricultural education programs and events, highlighting the importance of food and fibre and the farmers who produce it.

“AgVision Sydney will help to achieve this and encourage the students to become future leaders of agriculture. As a result, The RAS is proud to be part of this excellent initiative with DEC and Junee High School,” said Mr Wilton.

During the event, the workshops will profile a range of careers, including technology, research, development and extension, primary production, secondary production, processing, logistics, transport, handling, marketing of products, commodities as well as services.

Students will have the opportunity to choose five sessions to attend, which run for 35 minutes each. Presenters will be supported by teachers from attending school students in each workshop, to ensure all students receive the information they need to make informed decisions about study pathways.

Applications open for schools and the students on Monday 15 June and close Wednesday 15 July 2015. 

SYDNEYSHOWGROUNDAgVision Sydney: The Details

WHEN: Wednesday 29 July 2015

WHERE: Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park

TIME: 8:30am – 2:30pm

WHO: Students Years 9-11

ADMISSION: $10 per student

REGISTRATION: Opens 15 June; Closes 15 July 2015. For further information, contact Danielle Krix: or phone (02) 9704 1147


About AgVision Sydney

AgVision Sydney is a hands-on workshop for students in Years 9-11, designed to encourage and inspire young people to become the future of agriculture in Australia. The program is a result of a partnership between the Department of Education and Communities (DEC), Junee High School and the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. Currently held only in Junee, AgVision Sydney enables Junee High School’s landmark event to be expanded exponentially by rolling out to a much larger audience across a huge geographical area.


From iconic brand to iconic photographs

driza-boneMatt Lawson is the national sales manager for the iconic clothing company Driza-Bone. Over the last four years the Australian company has evolved to offer a great range of apparel alongside their traditional oilskin coats. 

“Part of my job has been to introduce the new range to customers throughout the Eastern half of Australia. As I don’t like to fly, I have been zig zagging the land meeting some truly amazing people while selling a brand that everyone loves. My trips where taking me away from home for up to two weeks at a time and I was driving for 8 hours a day which was both exhausting and lonely.”

About 18 months ago Matt started to break up his day by stopping and capturing photos of the country on his iPhone, and a second passion was born.

“I’d always enjoyed photography and I found the phone camera easy to use and even if I was only able to stop for two minutes, it was very calming.

“I’d found some great rural photography pages on Facebook, so when I got to my motel room at the end of a day I’d do a quick edit and share my photos from the day. When people started to like my photos, I grew more confident and started to ask for critique and advice.”

Matt took the critiques on board and worked to improve his photographs, gaining a loyal following of supporters as well as photographers lending their professional advice.

Sunflowers, Dalby Qld

Sunflowers, Dalby Qld

Dusty drive

Dusty drive

“These two photos are special to me for similar reasons. The sunflowers I stumbled upon while driving near Dalby in QLD. They were my first iPhone photo and the reason I decided to pursue photography. The driveway is my first photo on a DSLR camera. To me it truly depicts the Australian way of life.”

“I learnt on the run from some truly inspiring photographers and I was lucky enough to have photos shared on USA Today, ABC Australia and other great sites.”

In late 2014 he decided to take the next big step and get a “real” camera. He purchased a second hand Canon 500D and again had to start learning from scratch.

“I was listening to online tutorials while I drove and also leant heavily on the photography friends I’d made throughout the year.

“Photography is an amazing past time. I can honestly say that I continue to learn so much every single day. I try to take photos that inspire others and I hope to continue to grow my portfolio and show everyone our beautiful country.”

Matt’s all time favourite three photos

Lincoln Rock, Blue Mountains NSW

Lincoln Rock, Blue Mountains NSW

“I took this at Lincoln Rock in the Blue Mountains. I was in awe at the sheer beauty of the area and it was the closest I got to capturing it.”

Tenterfield webs

Tenterfield webs

“I took this south of Tenterfield. As with a lot of photography, timing is everything and I just happened to be in the right spot as the sun reflected through the dew drops.”

old shearing shed, Nathalia, Vic.

old shearing shed, Nathalia, Vic.

“This to me feels very Australian – It’s an old shearing shed in Nathalia, VIC. It feels like time stood still there.”

Matt’s photography website

Matt’s photography passion has the support of his employer; he has a FaceBook page and he has just launched a dedicated photography website –