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Lifeline Farmer program supports farmers

Lifeline farmers Narelle Clem and Ross Blanch
Lifeline farmers Narelle Clem and Ross Blanch at the launch in Bundaberg.

Queensland’s Farmer to Lifeline Farmer program launched a new 1800 number and announced an additional support farmer in Bundaberg recently, to continue supporting Queensland farmers in distress. 

Originally, the program included one farmer — Ross Blanch, using his personal mobile.

With funding support from Woolworths and the Mazda Foundation, the program has grown to include a new number – 1800 936 229 and another farmer at the end of the phone, allowing us to speak to more people. 

Farmer and newly accredited Lifeline Crisis Supporter Narelle Clem is keenly aware of what it’s like living on the land. 

“I grew up on a dairy farm in the Gympie district and our family experienced the highs and lows of farming life,” Narelle said. 

Narelle completed a counselling degree in 2021 after her remedial massage clients said they wanted to talk to her rather than the counsellors she was referring them to.

Becoming a Lifeline Crisis Supporter was a natural next step for her. 

“I just really enjoy helping people,” she said. 

“When I met Ross, he suggested I look into the program and immediately I knew this was a way I could make a difference.  

“There is a significant amount of ongoing training through Lifeline which is so important to help the callers the best way you can. 

“For me, farming and being on the land is what I know. I know the good and bad times and want to make sure farmers in distress know there’s always someone to listen,” Narelle said. 

This milestone would not be possible without the support of Woolworths for the second year. 

“We're proud to be supporting Lifeline for another year as they continue to provide Queensland farmers with meaningful resources to help them through challenging times,” said Sarah De La Mare, Woolworths Head of Community and Sponsorships.  

The expansion of another farmer and the 1800 936 229 number supports the longevity of the service into the future. 

Farmer to Lifeline Farmer program numbers April 2022 – June 2023

  • 1,891 – Total number of calls completed 
  • 308* – Total number of farmers assisted (*Assistance provided to farmers on environment, husbandry issues plus interventions where safety concerns have been identified.) 
  • 38 – Total number of cattle sales attended 
  • 29 – Total number of regional events attended 
  • 1 – New 1800 number launched 1800 936 229 

If you or anyone you know needs support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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