Melbourne fashion week was a defining moment for Leila Sweeny McDougall.
As a young fashion design graduate with a farming background, Leila held a show at Melbourne fashion week, to raise money for farmer health.
‘We lost heaps of money, because the people that came wouldn’t pay the entry fee. They didn’t see how farmers had anything to do with it.’
Frustrated, Leila set about changing attitudes towards agriculture and supporting farmer health.
“More needs to be done about people understanding that if farmers didn’t do what they do, city people wouldn’t live the life they do,” she says.
Growing up on a merino farm at Walcha in NSW, Leila has experienced farmings ups and downs, impacts of drought and mental illness, and the lack of support.
Now farming at Tatyoon in Victoria, Leila and her husband Sean founded ‘Live Rural’, a charity promoting agriculture and supporting farmer health.
Their annual event, ‘Mellow in the Yellow’ raises money to support the National Centre for Farmer Health.