Welcome to the first in a new series of guest blogs featuring inspirational regional, rural and remote women. Over the coming weeks you’ll meet dedicated, passionate women from all corners of Australia. Most are farmers and graziers, carving niches in their chosen fields with determination, but there are an equal number offering vital services across the bush. You’ll meet educators, journalists, artists, volunteers, networkers and communicators. Learn what motivates them, discover how they have forged careers and become important voices in their communities. Australia may be a vast country however isolation is no barrier to achievement.

Meet Raelene Hall:

“My home is Neds Creek Station, 210 kms NE of Meekatharra in the East Gascoyne region of WA. Perth is 1000 kms away. Unlike many station women I am not involved in the physical side of working the property. Most of my work is done on the computer.  When we first were connected to the Internet in 2000 I was able to build a freelance writing career from home. I found there was a wide market for articles about the Australian Outback.

Stemming from this I was able to get a position as a columnist for a regional WA paper.  My little humourous pieces took on a life of their own and in 2007 I self published some of them as a book (Legitimate Bush Woman), which continues to sell well even 4 years later. In 2005 I took on the voluntary editor’s role of the ICPA (Isolated Childrens Parent’s Association of Australia) Pedals magazine. I had been involved with this voluntary lobby group since my children were small.  In 2007, with a lot of trepidation, I took up the opportunity to take over the publishing role as well, which involved setting up my own small business –KMK Publishing.

This involves sourcing material and advertising to put together a quarterly magazine distributed to ICPA members and subscribers. I had no experience in desktop publishing so was on a very steep learning curve for the first couple of issues.

meI am proud of what I have achieved and the feedback I receive tells me readers and advertisers are happy with the publication. It is a business I can fit around my every day life with all the usual chores of any housewife. I am lucky to have a very tolerant hubby who is happy to pitch in when I am pushing to meet the printing deadline.

An article I wrote called ‘Isolation is No Barrier’ won me the prestigious Bronze Quill Award from the WA Society of Women’s Writers.

In recent times I have also discovered social media and whilst, in many ways, it can be a time waster I have also found it is a great way to advocate for our agricultural industry.  Since the ban on Live Export in 2011 I have come to realize, along with many others, that the Agricultural industry has to stand side by side and tell the world about the best practices used in our farming industries, that we are the only country who invests in animal welfare overseas and reconnect people with where their food and fibre comes from.

It also enables me to spread the word about something else I am passionate about –mental health in rural/regional/remote areas especially for men. As a depression sufferer and the sister of male suicide victim I know first hand how tough it can be.  If one message on Facebook to someone or one twitter message gives just one person a glimmer of hope then it is time well spent.

Raelene can be contacted on email nedscreek1@bigpond.com She has a website but it badly needs updating http://www.outbackwriter.com/index.html

Cover design by Gail C Breese creaky g design 2007

She still has a few copies of her book ‘Legitimate Bush Woman’ available for sale $20 including postage in Australia.