Courtesy Netflix

April 19, 2023
Currently in release the  Australian film starring Leila McDougall, Robert Taylor, Susan Prior, Joel Jackson and Trevor Jamieson, marking the feature directorial debut of Simon Lyndon.

Merely sitting through the credits of any movie will enlighten moviegoers about the extensive team that is required to bring even the ‘simplest’ film to life.

However, at times, filmmakers are put in positions where the financial resources don’t match the requirements. In that case, a powerful story and an unbridled passion are what brings a team together.

Such is the case for Just A Farmer, a feature film currently shooting in rural Victoria, written by and starring Leila McDougall, directed by Simon Lyndon, who makes his feature debut after almost 30 years of work in front of the camera with standout roles in the likes of Chopper, Blackrock and Troppo. The film also features highly respected thesps Susan Prior, Damian Walshe-Howling, Robert Taylor, Joel Jackson and Trevor Jamieson.

McDougall [pictured with Robert Taylor in main image], who comes from the rural town of Tatyoon in Victoria, speaks to the film’s story. “It is shining a light on the unique issue of having mental health issues in farming communities. There is not always support around, so you’ve got to lean on your community, people who may not be the most qualified. It’s about how a community and family can come together through that,” she says.

“It was a page-turner,” remarks Lyndon who had a gut feeling about the story. “I always thought it would be a difficult movie to make given it being a gut-wrenching and painful story, however, that’s what made it feel so true and moving.”


The difficulties in bringing the film to life don’t just lie with the storytelling. Just A Farmer is relying solely on private investment and a helping hand from the community to complete production.

“With the budget, I’m not going to lie, it is extremely stressful,” says McDougall, who also produces. “We’ve been able to keep the costs low by shooting on our farm. Also, all the farming equipment, animal wranglers and extras are friends who we’ve called on to make this film. But it is made a lot harder by the costs associated with accommodation and living away from home. They definitely don’t make it easy to shoot in rural towns.”

It is a testament to the power of the story that has bought this team together. “With the crew, we wanted people who were passionate about the message. A lot of them aren’t getting paid the big bucks they would be getting paid normally.”

For Lyndon, who has directed short films and theatre, the film has provided a creative symbiosis between him and his team. “Luckily, me and some of the other team members have been working in this industry a while and have connections to people who really do care a lot about this message and the craft itself.”

As her first feature film script, Just A Farmer speaks to a truth that McDougall knows keenly. “I really wanted to be truthful and honest. The people who need to see this film, if they see something dishonest in it, they’ll disconnect immediately and won’t take the film seriously.”

Production on the film is in its final two weeks, with the team recently getting to see an assembly cut of a few scenes. “Everyone was almost in tears even though we watched a scene completely out of context and without the rest of the film to support it,” says McDougall.

Photos by Tea Van de Burgt

Just A Farmer (2024) Release Date is March 21, 2024




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Applications for 2023 scholarships close on Friday 24th November 2023.

Applicants must download the following 3 documents:

Scholarship Application Instructions

Scholarship Application Form

Academic Referee’s Assessment

Applications for these scholarships must be made directly to the Trust and must be supported by an academic referee from the University at which the student is enrolled or intends to enrol.


The Trust supports up to 15 Undergraduate Project and Masters by Coursework Scholarships each year These are usually awarded to students undertaking an Honours year, but also to students enrolled in 4 year courses which do not include a specific Honours Degree but which require the student to complete a research project and write a thesis.

The scholarships have been in effect since 2007. The total value is $7000.

Students planning appropriate Masters by Coursework studies can also apply for these scholarships.


The research project must be relevant to sheep and/or wool. This relevance is the most significant criterion considered by the selection panel in assessing applications.

The funds, unless otherwise specified, are split equally between the student and the University. The University’s component is to cover costs arising from the project. However, the University and the student may negotiate how these funds will be split and, consequently the split of the funds must be specified in the application.

The students are obligated to provide the Trust with an abstract or summary report of their Thesis for publication on Woolwise. Alternatively they can provide their Thesis or a copy of a journal paper produced from the material in the Thesis.

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PIEFA announces its new fully responsive  website is now live that understanding the journey of our food and fibre from farm to plate is crucial for fostering a sustainable and resilient future.

We’re confident that our new website will continue to drive our vision to inspire interest in the diverse career pathways available within the agriculture industry and will serve as a valuable resource for everyone interested in the world of Australian food and fibre production.

We’ve always strived towards delivering a platform that is accessible as possible. One that not only showcases the remarkable stories behind our food and fibre but reflects our commitment to embedding the value of Australian food and fibre production in the national psyche.

With our new website, we have taken a giant leap toward achieving this goal.

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Wool4School is an annual student design competition encouraging emerging fashion designers to promote the unparalleled properties and benefits of wool.

The competition is open to most secondary school students in Australia, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and Italy.

AWET provides some funding to assist in delivering this program, which is organised by AWI

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Discover Woolmark’s first course tailor-made for Australian woolgrowers – Price Risk Management – on The Woolmark Learning Centre. Learn about the sale of wool with expert-led content created in partnership with industry experts, Southern Aurora Price Risk Management.

This course will take you on a deep dive into risk, risk management products, strategies, and hedging principles. By the end of the course, you will have a greater understanding of price risk management and how its applied to the sale of your wool and will have explored examples of Australian agricultural innovation.

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Dr Jane Littlejohn has been nominated by Australian Wool Innovation Ltd to replace Professor Andrew Vizard.

Jane’s qualifications include BVSc, MVPHMgt, Grad Dip An Sci (Animal Breeding Mgt), GAICD.

From 2008 t0 2013 Jane worked for AWI  as Project Manager Animal Health and Welfare followed by Head of On-farm RDE.

From 2014 to 2015  Jane served on the Mid-north Coast Strategic Advisory Committee for Primary industries, providing advice to CSU to enhance its role in servicing the educational needs of primary industry.

From 2015-2017 she was Implementation Manager for the National Wild Dog Action Plan.

Jane was re-employed by AWI in the position of General Manager – Research, in July 2017.

Jane is eminently qualified for her new role as AWET Trustee.

Professor Andrew Vizard is a well known and widely respected academic at Melbourne University’s Division of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences and has published numerous scholarly works. He was appointed by AWI as a trustee in 2003 and has served with distinction in that role, providing valuable insights to the Trust’s policies and programs. His resignation took effect from the 31st December 2022.

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Augmented reality is an evolving technology increasingly being applied in education programs. This is one example. Melbourne University is also creating “Virtual Farms” as a means to educate students in Agriculture Degrees.

Applying augmented reality

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AWI’s eNewsletter for wool growers for November 2022 is now available. It includes:

  • Market Intelligence
  • Report on AGM 2022
  • Flood Resources information
  • Management tools
  • Purchase of Geelong Textile Group by Australian Textile Investments
  • Effective residue management
  • Domestic Processing: Dream of Reality

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The December 2022 issue of Beyond the Bale is now available.

Beyond the Bale provides you with the latest information about AWI’s R&D and marketing initiatives to enhance the profitability, international competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian wool industry.


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The Christmas season is upon us and the Woolmark Company’s reminder is ageless

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