Gabrielle Chan’s media and journalism background combined with her ‘opposition defiance disorder’ has seen her challenge political and rural issues with curiosity and persistence, resulting in a unique perspective on how the two intersect. Sitting in her garden in rural NSW Charlie explores with Gabrielle this intersection including how farmers can influence the political landscape by the decisions they make regarding their natural landscape.
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Gabrielle never thought she would live on a farm having grown up in suburban Sydney | She had bushland behind their house so did have contact and connection to ‘the bush’ | Gabrielle has a self diagnosed lifelong case of ‘Opposition Defiance Disorder’! | Curiosity drives her to want to question and understand concepts, which lead her to her first job in media as a ‘copy girl’ at News Limited, then at the Australian and Telegraph newspapers | She worked in New York at the Canadian consulate before working as the Press Secretary for politician Peter Collin, then finding her way back into journalism and the media industry | She published ‘Rusted Off – Why Country Australia is Fed Up’ (2018) in which she tells the story of Australia as it is today, as she looks to her own rural community’s main street for answers to the big questions driving voters. Why are we so fed up with politics? | She believes food buying decisions impact our health directly and the farm environmental health indirectly | We can’t separate the farm story and practices from the food quality | Transparency is essential to make decisions for both human and environ health | We have to adapt to changes in economic, environ, social, demand etc. | Carbon accounting is a relatively new and significant opportunity for farmers to be remunerated for the ecological value they generate Politics designs legislation and regulation, farmers need to engage in that process to influence the outcomes | The Social Contract that farmers have ‘signed’ has changed from a production focus to environmental focus | Governments are now looking closer at subsidies etc. that focus on environmental services and less about production | Gabrielle is irate about farmers and indigenous land managers no being involved in climate debate | Her billboard quote would be ‘it’s the food stupid’ on one side and ‘it’s the land stupid’ on the other.
Gabrielle Chan Twitter : @gabriellechan
The Guardian Rural Network – Gabrielle is the Regional & Rural Editor
Why You Should Give a F*ck About Farming – Gabrielle Chan’s recently published book ( 2021)
Rusted Off – Why Country Australia is Fed Up – Gabrielle Chan book published 2018
Regen Farmers Mutual – A farmer-owned business which is focused on creating the digital infrastructure, transaction processes and governance structures that enable farmers to optimize Environmental, Goods & Services outcomes. Director Andrew Ward
Vince Heffernan – biodynamic lamb producer, NSW