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  • Penny Clark-Hall

The rich tapestry of rural communities

This weekend I spent my time at our local Amuri A&P show. An annual event that brings the community together to celebrate, compete, promote and connect. An event I took for granted as a child, but now I am awed by the rich volunteer spirit that enables events like this to happen.


Mothers, fathers, grand parents, community stalwarts become officials for the day. As I stood in the horse ring doing my bit, I watched two woman in charge darting from job to job and I became very aware of how vulnerable communities are to the calibre of its inhabitants, and how lucky ours, and many other rural communities, are to have such a rich tapestry of people that make days like this happen. 


I’m embarrassed to say, I’m not intimate with the details of what is involved prior to show day but I’d hazard a guess that it indeed does ‘take a village’. To me, the glue that binds a rural community always seems to be stronger than an urban community. Perhaps because of its remoteness and the reliance on each other that that fosters? It did make me wonder though. Why does the Food & Fibre Industry, struggling with its social licence, under utilise such a rich resource?


Rural communities are incredibly powerful and beautiful things. I’ve seen them in action during natural disasters, family tragedies, raising children, supporting each others businesses, hopes and dreams. It’s this calibre of people that are now starting to take charge of their own social licence - helping and learning from each other. Many forming their own catchment groups, managing, measuring and improving their environmental impact. 


Anything worth doing to improve one’s social licence needs to be authentic. You can’t get more authentic than a rural community.

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© 2019 by Penny Clark-Hall of Social Licence Consulting. All rights reserved.

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