The State Government has appointed a dedicated Family and Business (FaB) Mentor to support Adelaide Hill’s growers impacted by the damaging hailstorms in November.
The new mentor, Colleen White, will be on hand to meet and listen to growers at an industry meeting hosted tonight by Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone, Member for Morialta John Gardner and Member for Kavel Dan Cregan.
Minister Tim Whetstone said with a significant number of apple and pear growers facing crop losses for a third year in a row, health and wellbeing support is paramount.
“We have already seen the important benefits of the FaB support program through the appointment of nine mentors to assist drought-affected communities and this initiative will now be extended to the Adelaide Hills,” said Minister Whetstone.
“Colleen will provide a confidential, independent and understanding service so growers and community members can talk about any problems they’re experiencing – that might be anything from personal challenges to business decisions ahead of harvest and managing day-to-day operations.
“The State Government has recognised the need to support Adelaide Hill’s growers during this challenging period and that is why we have appointed a mentor who is focused on hailstorm affected growers.
“One of the key elements of the FaB Support Program is the ability for the trusted mentors to travel onto properties and provide assistance at the kitchen table or in the packing shed. Through this program we are identifying those people in the community who need help but may not call out for help, saving lives, relationships and families.”
Ms White is currently involved in mental health and wellbeing programs within the pork and dairy industries and is an experienced counsellor with a background in supporting food producers.
The industry meeting is being held tonight for industry and communities impacted by last year’s hailstorm events at Lenswood Memorial Oval at 5.30pm.
The meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss local concerns and inform growers of the support services available to them.
The FaB Support Program works hand-in-hand with other service providers such as Rural Business Support’s Rural Financial Counselling service and local health networks and can connect people to these services as required.