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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Feb-March 2012
Active RetireesTM | 57 Sophia Waters, 28, is studying a PhD in Linguistics at the University of New England, Armidale. She has a love of the great outdoors and on weekends works at her family’s sheep and cattle farm. I grew up on a farm near Armidale. I live in town now, but go out to our 800-hectare sheep and cattle farm most weekends to visit my parents and to help out. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty. I recently helped my dad with the difficult births – we call it ‘pulling the lambs’. I help with the mustering on motorbikes and sometimes the marking of the lambs. I also look after the poddy lambs and calves that have been orphaned, and always seem to be roped into fencing. Our family farm, Silverton, has been in the family for six generations; I’m generation number six. I would consider staying on at the farm but I don’t think my parents would encourage me to do that. They supported me throughout higher education and encourage me to travel and see other places, so there’s been absolutely no pressure from them to stay and work on the farm. My PhD title is ‘The cultural semantics of sociality in Australian English with contrastive reference to French’. I will investigate the meanings and use of particular ‘social behaviour’ words from Australian English: nice, rude, polite, impolite and manners, and their nearest equivalents in French. I’m hoping to work in academia, but I could potentially go anywhere with my degree, which is the great thing about it. My study is a massive contrast to any form of farm work. I do have a passion for the farm; when I was helping out with the lambing, I thought to myself that I should have been a vet. The main thing I remember from growing up on the farm is taking town kids out to the property and realising that my upbringing was quite different to theirs. We were never afraid of cows or getting dirty. When we were out on the property doing mustering, my granddad always used to test me and say: ‘Soph, which way is home?’ So I had a good sense of direction instilled in me from a young age. I think I almost always got it right. I soon learnt from the feeling of shame and disappointment that I should know which way is home in case I got left behind. Growing up on a property I have a great appreciation for nature and understanding of the process of life and death. There’s also the idea of freedom – these days I live in town but I love to be able to see the sky. Being closed in is not really for me. I really enjoy being outdoors and feel more comfortable in the bush than in any city. •• We WANt you! Operational from 1942 to December 1945, the Australian Women’s Land Army (AWLA) was a voluntary group of women who replaced male farm workers in primary industries who had enlisted or were performing other essential war work. The AWLA attracted about 3500 women nationwide. The land army girls, as they became known, ensured wine, grape, wheat, maize, citrus, stone fruit and dairy produce was kept at pre- war level. Oats, raisin, apple and vegetable production was increased, and onion and potato output doubled during their reign in the field. If you have any information on the AWLA, please contact us to share your stories. W: firstname.lastname@example.org I really enjoy being outdoors and feel more comfortable in the bush than in any city. DavidDoyle
Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2012
Active Retirees April-May 2012