New strategy, funding and strong collaboration for farm safety
Posted on March 17, 2021 in
The announcement of Farmsafe Australia’s National Farm Safety Education Fund Strategy this week will provide a much-needed injection of leadership, direction and funding for on-farm safety in Australia.
The Rural Safety & Health Alliance, a cross-sectoral collaboration of nine Rural Research & Development Corporations, has been working closely with the Farmsafe Australia Committee and Executive Officer to develop this strategy.
The Farmsafe Strategy identifies five key impact opportunities:
• Leadership and Cultural Change;
• the Next Generation of Farmers;
• Physical and Psychological Well-Being;
• Industry Endorsed Training and Continued Learning; and
• Evidence and Incentivisation.
These focus areas are closely aligned to the Rural Safety & Health Alliance Strategy. RSHA’s recent project which identified priority work health and safety (WHS) ‘overlaps’ across sectors has also been a key input to the details of this strategy, reinforcing the importance of investment in research which in turn becomes evidence for subsequent investments in this area.
RSHA Executive Officer Andrew Barrett explained “The Rural Safety & Health Alliance and Farmsafe have been working in lock-step for some time now to ensure the right priorities are targeted for impact.”
“Any cross-sectoral focus, such as WHS, inevitably involves a lot of stakeholders all trying to work on similar problems from different angles. Whilst we are different, we have shown the collaborative advantage of aligning goals and communicating consistently.”
“RSHA brings together the RDC ecosystem and it’s leaders, along with our deep expertise in research, development and extension in WHS. Farmsafe is the national advocacy and education group, bringing a strong leadership voice and a trusted network of members to reach producers. Our respective strengths are what makes our collaboration so impactful”.
Farmsafe Executive Officer Stevi Howdle likens the collaboration to a book-end approach.
“At one end RSHA provides research and evidence. That evidence informs Farmsafe’s far-reaching education and adoption activities in the middle. On the other end is the RSHA’s capability to bring measurement and evaluation rigour to consider the impact of our activities”.
The importance of collaboration was reinforced by Farmsafe Australia Chair Charles Armstrong: “Farmsafe cannot achieve the aspirations we’ve set by ourselves. We are calling on industry and government to get behind the Strategy and look for ways in which we can connect and collaborate, not only to avoid duplication, but to enhance and bring together diverse resources in ways that can achieve more; more awareness, more engagement, more impact, more value.”
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management the Hon. David Littleproud has dedicated a further $1.9M in funding for farm safety over the next three years with implementation options being considered for further funding.
A full copy of the National Farm Safety Education Fund Strategy is available from www.farmsafe.org.au
The RSHA is jointly supported by AgriFutures Australia, Australian Eggs, Australian Pork Limited, Australian Wool Innovation, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Dairy Australia, Fisheries Research and Development Corporate, Grains Research and Development Corporation and Meat & Livestock Australia.
RSHA Executive Officer
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