Declutter, come online

From the August 2012 edition of Agriculture Today: Beyond the kitchen table – A Column by Sonia Muir, Rural Women’s Network

I am a hoarder but sometimes it is good to get rid of clutter for a fresh perspective.

Last year my husband Gordon and I had a book blitz at home, packing the contents of three book cases we hadn’t read in years off to a Lifeline book fair and replacing them with walls full of photo memories.

Now we find if we need inspiration for a dinner party or other home activities we no longer reach for a book but surf the net.

I recently discovered the virtual pinboard platform called pinterest so have a whole new way to feed my hoarding tendencies.

I am also using the internet at work to get the most up-to-date information.

I have just started an office blitz to sort through paper filled filing cabinets, books and reports I have accumulated over the past 19 years, working with the Rural Women’s Network (RWN).

I am aiming for fresh space to gain new perspectives around work and the way I manage information and interact.

According to Australia’s chief statistician Brian Pink “… in order to remain competitive in an international environment, a farmer is more likely to be found with a laptop and sophisticated farming equipment, and are more than twice as likely to have a degree as they were just a single generation ago, and over two-thirds of farm businesses now use the internet for business operations”.

Now workplaces can be anywhere – at home in front of the computer, out in the paddock or in a café using a smart device.

Social media is just another way of delivering information that we need to make part of our lives.

Platforms such as twitter are providing a democratic and dynamic way for like-minded people to have global conversations like never before.

The @AgChatOZ Tuesday evening twitter conversations are a great place to plug in and start conversations around rural issues.

Each week there is a different focus topic.

Developing a large base of followers who may spread the word about what we do can build reputations and connect us to people and potentially useful information and ideas.

It can also enhance the important role of face to face encounters – for example, we hope to see you at the 2012 NSW rural Women’s Gathering being hosted by Parkes from October 12 to 14.

The organising committee has an array of workshops and speakers planned, including author and journalist Jessica Rowe, 2012 NSW RIRDC Award winner and @AgChatOZ founder Danica Leys, and current NSW Woman of the Year Fran Rowe.

Registrations are now open, with everyone invited but I do warn you, once you have been this unique annual weekend event, you will be hooked forever.

Visit www.abs.gov.au, www.agex.org.au/Apps/Book/Apps/Book.pdf

About nswrwn

NSW Rural Women’s Network is a government program working in innovative ways to promote leadership and action on rural women’s issues. The RWN team is dedicated to connecting and exchanging information with women and stakeholders in rural, regional and remote communities.
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