Our collaborators have chosen a specific strategy. Our aim remains to mobilise 1000 rural leaders in 50 regions in 5 years to become positive role models, influencers and peer to peer supporters, engaging each other to seek and practice positive mental health, resilience and preventative health. We have methods of longitudinally measuring the aggregated individual health progress and enhancement of work-related performance. This paradigm of positive social determination has been very successfully proven by our major collaborator Ford Health, to reduce the reversible risk factors of chronic disease by 8.0%, improve self-graded performance by 11% and improve positive mental health by 8.4% of urban leaders when cared for in the Ford Health programs over a period of five years. The pathway to impact of the FHPC strategy will be a visible critical mass network of 1000 leaders setting about changing their communities over time. Using a medical backbone, we are holistically supporting individuals to be effective at work and life. This we hope will shift attitudes sufficiently to attract and retain talent in the bush and impact positively on rural succession planning outcomes.

2019 -2020 Activities

Last year’s Aegium funding allowed for our team to research and successfully identify a prospective pilot group of motivated youth from agricultural backgrounds to commence translating our urban methods of health improvement. Two very good alliances were established with ARLF and Nuffield Foundations. Nuffield Foundation paved the way for FHPC to directly engage 30 of their scholars and alumni to form a pilot study. Scholars attended a preliminary resilience workshop in September 2019 and personal health evaluation program during October through to March 2020 . COVID has hampered the completion of the remaining 15 assessments. However, it is hoped these participants will continue their programs in due course using the telehealth modality. We learnt that by engaging with these self-selecting future leaders, they have a positive appetite for learning health, well-being and resilience skills to modify their work practices and improve productivity. Already the group have made concrete connections between their health and wellbeing and its impact on sustainable performance. The reinforcement of this experience is why we hope to fund through Aegium the same scholars return annually for five years if possible and measure the longitudinal impact. Unfortunately, our biggest challenge has been COVID disruptive forces limiting access to the pilot participants for regular follow up.

2020 Activity Plan

The funds provided by Aegium this year have been amalgamated with services provided pro bono by our other collaborators to develop a general marketing plan. Aegium’s 2020 funds have also helped underpin our next collaboration project with Meat and Livestock Australia to fund a stage 2 project expansion which will see a further 100 leaders join our Agrarian program. The program will be offered to preselected members of their extensive network of meat producers. The estimated five-year value of this second expansion is $1.45 M, substantially leveraging the funds provided by Aegium. We have strategically aligned our project direction with this RDA as they add vital research rigour to the scope of our ambitious program of recruiting 1000 leaders in 50 regions in 5 years. This year approaches have been made to several other philanthropic sources who are warmed by the investment Aegium has made to date and we hope will follow suit in due course. It is still the ambition of the FHPC team to use philanthropic funds to underwrite early key research which will in time lead to the attraction of commercially sourced funds underwriting a profitable sustainable venture whereby future participants may be attracted and self-fund or commercial houses with interests in the future viability of agribusiness will sponsor prospective leaders to join the growing network. One such example is PSP who own Hewitt Cattle.