A motivational speaker dubbed ‘The unbreakable farmer’ enthralled a gathering of 80 on Friday night at the Millicent War Memorial Civic and Arts Centre. Victorian dairy farmer Warren Davies spoke for almost one and a half hours about his life story and offered strategies for good mental health.
According to Mr Davies, his experiences and challenges had taught him three important lessons. “Communication is key, stay connected and seek support,” Mr Davies said. “My mission is to encourage mental health and well-being, to inspire conversations and to empower people to seek help.”
The guest speaker suggested everyone make a list of five friends and family members who can provide them with mental health support. In a talk dosed with humour and serious moments, the married father-of-five described being bullied at school, the positive role of sport and the difficulties posed in farming in a family partnership and coping with floods and droughts.
A show of hands revealed about a dozen farmers were in the audience. He said his eventful life had tested his resilience, persistence and determination and had a massive impact on his young family, relationships and finances.
His guest speaker gigs are now presented across the nation. He had farmed at Kongorong for a year in the early 1980s and had previously visited the Millicent War Memorial Civic and Arts Centre, “I brought my son here for an audition with one of the school orchestras,” he said.
“He is now a professional musician and is opening a new show in Brisbane tonight.” The free talk was arranged by the Wattle Range Suicide Prevention Network and was followed by a free supper.
The expenses for the night were met by the State Government via a grant from the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist. Active Millicent community member Bruce Clayson praised the talk by Mr Davies. “It was extremely well done and came straight from the heart,” Mr Clayson said. “He communicates his message well and has a relaxed speaking style.”