Alex Thomas continues fight for better, safer farms
The message of on-farm safety will be shared through a different medium next month – dance.
Agriculture safety crusader Alex Thomas will lead p to 300 young grain farmers in a dance to raise safety awareness as part of a national conference in Adelaide next month (July 16).
The ‘Safety Dance’ – set to the Bee Gees’ Staying Alive – is the latest in a long line of initiatives the Adelaide Hills resident has set in motion since winning a $20,000 grant through SafeWork SA’s Augusta Zadow Award in 2018.
“It’s about setting fire to the underwhelming stereotype that safety has to be boring, reactive and uninspiring,” Ms Thomas said.
“Choreographing this big safety dance at the Innovation Generation conference during Farm Safety Week, I want to shake this narrative up and lead people in that room to have more proactive conversations about safety.
“I’m testing different activities with a view to scale them across Australia and eventually across the world. I want to start a global conversation on the importance of health, safety and wellbeing in rural communities.”
A pastoralist’s daughter, Ms Thomas was also the SA winner of the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award in 2018 and has used the two awards as a springboard to success.
She now runs two businesses – #PlantASeedForSafety and Alex Thomas Pty Ltd.
The work under her own name ranges from public speaking to workshop facilitation, through to consulting for medium to large organisations, helping them rethink safety policies and procedures by using a people-based approach to generating safer outcomes.
The #PlantASeedForSafety initiative started by profiling more than 70 rural women from Australia and New Zealand and now has a social media following of more than 10,000 people.
“#PlantASeedForSafety has rural social change as its core – spinning yarns to save lives,” Ms Thomas said.
“It’s about putting health, safety and wellbeing front of mind in rural communities and in particular, empowering rural women and other community influencers to lead that conversation.”