‘Better yourself, better your business and better your family’ are the main aims of a health and wellbeing event, due to be held at the Spring Plains Hall on Friday August 16.


Members of the Spring Plains community have organised the workshop to provide people with realistic and relevant advice, to help them combat the varying impacts of this stubborn drought.

“We wanted to do something that wasn’t just a band aid solution and actually gave people tools and skills,” said Loretta Meppem, who is part of the workshop’s organising committee.

Dr Toby Ford will be the guest speaker at The Spring Plains Wellness Workshop, for men and women, and he will run sessions on building resilience, stress-management, better decision-making and life beyond the farm gate.

Dr Ford is a nationally acknowledged speaker on health and lifestyle, a general medical practitioner, a former director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and a father.

Mrs Meppem first heard Dr Ford speak at her son’s boarding school and was so impressed that she hatched a plan with neighbours to bring Dr Ford to the district.

“What he had to say really resonated with me, he also grew up on the land and I heard he’d been hosting workshops, and that’s where our idea for the event started.”

Dr Ford now lives in Brisbane but knows all about the highs and lows of living in rural Australia. He was raised on a property in western Queensland, in a family of five children, and later worked as a Flying Doctor in Charleville.

“I’ve continued my desire to go back and give back to the bush some of my learnings that I’ve picked up in medicine,” Dr Ford told The Courier.

“I hope we can get some solid tools for people to take away.

“It’s far too easy to assume that health is something that you have no choice over, that health is something that just deteriorates as you get older – I think that’s just a total fallacy,” said Dr Ford.

As well as farmers, Dr Ford is urging other members of the community to join the workshop, such as business owners, parents and contractors.