Since kicking off in 2018, the #PlantASeedForSafety social change initiative has gone from strength to strength, with a new series of activities now ready to be launched.
About 20 people gathered at the Eden Valley Hotel on Thursday night last week for the launch, where initiative founder Alex Thomas ran the first of a set of engaging activities in the Barossa Valley running from now until April next year aiming to stimulate conversations that put health, safety and wellbeing front of mind.
Ms Thomas, who was also the 2018 Agrifutures SA Rural Women’s Award winner for her work launching the health and safety initiative, said the driving force behind the upcoming activities was the need to work directly with rural communities.
“#PlantASeedForSafety started out as a social media campaign profiling and empowering rural women who were already leading the conversation around health and safety, but after its rollout in New Zealand (in 2020) I realised that to have the greatest impact, I needed a scalable initiative that works directly with rural communities,” she said.
“That means all parts of the rural ecosystem, including pubs, community groups, industry associations, sporting clubs, schools, and everything in between.
“This next evolution is about working with community champions and starting conversations that ultimately bring people home safe and well at the end of each day.”
Ms Thomas said a holistic approach to work health and safety was vital.
“My background is in work health and safety, but intuitively, we all know there’s no line between ‘work’ and ‘home’, especially in a rural setting,” she said.
“This is about taking a more holistic view on health and safety, and giving communities the tools to facilitate social change – in the same way that 50 years ago no one wore seatbelts, but now we do it without thinking.
“And as long as we keep bringing it back to the why, which is to get people home safely at the end of each day, people are more than happy to talk about it.”
At last week’s event, attendees heard from local icon Jason Sabeeney, Mount Pleasant, who shared his own stories and tips surrounding health and safety.
The #PlantASeedForSafety shovel was also unveiled.
Ms Thomas said more details about the upcoming activities would be revealed in the coming weeks, but she encouraged anyone in the Barossa wanting to be involved, to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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