A COUNTRY connection has spurred Toowoomba agricultural software company Agdata to head west to Blackall for a day of helping bush people build their resilience to drought.
Kerrie-Lyn Rae grew up at Blackall and her parents Frank and Shirley Russell still live there.
“I talk to them most nights. They’ve had to destock but luckily they’ve had an outside income. I’ve still got a strong connection with the town and I wanted to help where I could with the drought.”
Having dealt with dozens of rural clients over the years, she came up with the idea of helping people make financial reporting a much easier process.
“I understand their frustration at budget time when they are trying to plug information into spreadsheets, whether it’s for their own business management needs or to give to the bank manager or accountant,” Kerrie-Lyn said.
She approached a number of presenters with her idea and they all “jumped on board”.
After Kerrie-Lyn presented the Agdata session, Bush Agribusiness’s Ian McLean targeted the capital investments to take on, before handing over to Barbara Bishop to talk about office practices such as cloud computing.
Brad Sewell concluded the morning’s open session with tips on negotiating with banks, looking at rates, account keeping fees and the like.
In the afternoon the 34 participants were able to approach the four speakers individually for one-on-one sessions on areas of particular interest.
All involved provided their services for free and some of the speakers travelled from as far as Wagga Wagga to attend.
Kerrie-Lyn said one of the most valuable parts of the day had been the opportunity to connect rural people with this knowledge, and to show them how accessible it was. “People are very accepting they’re not in a great place at the moment,” she said.
“Something like this helps them be in a better place at the end of the drought.”