Life on the land; their region as they see it
8 February 2018
Stories of long days, despair and the beautiful sun over a vineyard are some of those being shared at this year's ABC Heywire Regional Youth Summit.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, congratulated all 30 of this year's winners and highlighted the importance of sharing their stories about life in rural and regional communities.
"The Heywire Summit enables young rural and regional Australians to tell the story of their life, experiences and hopes for the future," Minister Littleproud said.
"Heywire is fantastic initiative that gives young country people a voice.
"Our regional communities are such a vital part of Australian agriculture, so it is important that our future farming leaders in those communities get the chance to contribute to national discussions.
"Among the winners is Julia Payne from Colignan, Victoria, who has shared her family's challenges in dealing with Mother Nature.
"From spending hours to plough and plant rows of walnuts only to end in a dust storm to the irony of how quickly drought can turn to flooding rain, she's witnessed tragedy but still appreciates the sweet taste of the first cherry of the season.
"Cheyenne McKay from Karoonda, South Australia, tells a story of her dad, a farmer who busts his backside to feed us day in, day out."
Cheyenne tells, "Harvest time is when I feel the most gratitude towards farmers like my mum and dad. It's… that one empty spot at the dinner table that would normally be occupied. Thank you Dad... It means a lot to us, much more than you think."
More than 11,000 stories have been submitted, shining the spotlight on 400 regional communities and counting, since the project commenced 20 years ago.
The ABC's annual Heywire summit is open to young people from 16 to 22 years and has been run in partnership with the Australian Government since 1998.
For more information visit: www.abc.net.au/heywire/