Canowindra's Meg Austin to take part in youth drought summit

Canowindra's Meg Austin will be one of our region's attendees at the UNICEF NSW Youth Summit on Living with Drought.

Canowindra's Meg Austin will be one of our region's attendees at the UNICEF NSW Youth Summit on Living with Drought.

Canowindra's Meg Austin is one of five local women who will be representing the region at the upcoming UNICEF NSW Youth Summit on Living with Drought.

Ms Austin said the drought summit would be a perfect opportunity to share her story and experiences with others, and learn from theirs.

"I am super excited to attend the upcoming UNICEF Drought Summit," she said.

"It's an amazing opportunity to meet with other young people from across the state to share with each other our stories and experiences.

"Ultimately I'd love to see all attendees build a greater understanding of the impact the drought is having not only on our own properties and in our own communities, but also the impact nationally."

Ms Austin said she felt Australian farmers were needing to become more accustomed to the reality that there is no such thing as a "normal year" or "average rainfall".

"The weather is unpredictable and we need to accept that," she said.

"We need to build businesses that can handle the financial impacts of the drought to withstand the hard times and come out the other side.

"We need to build a business that can survive the complete opposite; flooding rains, and bounce back from that also.

"This current drought has a firm grip on most of nation, but it's now we need to be thinking and planning ahead to ensure businesses are not this vulnerable to droughts in the years to come," she said.

As part of the summit a UNICEF public report will be produced on policy recommendations that will presented to the government.

However, Ms Austin has already put an invitation forward to her state and federal representatives.

"I would say 'come and visit!' Come and stay on a property, have dinner and witness us live our lives on the land," she said.

"It's not a 9 to 5 job, we don't ever leave work when it's at our back door. It's a lifestyle that we love but is also challenging.

"So when making drought-related decisions or implementing new policies, consider the land as a lifestyle and let that guide policy proposal.

"We need long-term, sustainable support and we need you to know that the food and fibre of the country are depending on it," she said.

The UNICEF NSW Youth Summit on Living with Drought will be held at Lake Macquarie from October 9 to 11.

Joining Ms Austin at the summit will be Bumbaldry's Olivia Twyford, Cowra's Kate Price and Lilly Wright and Darbys Falls' Emma Chalker.