Jane Oorschot

    The Cairns Institute’s Research Fellow and recently appointed Building Human Capacity Lead for the TNQ Drought Hub, Dr Jane Oorschot attended the IRSA2022 XV World Congress of Rural Sociology which was held in Cairns on 19–22 July 2022. Jane contributed to the role of extension in rural sustainability in the urban century section of the congress. She spoke about “The value of relationships through the organisational lens.”

    The presentation developed by Jane discussed the importance of a sense of belonging, and connectedness especially in rural and remote settings. Some of Jane’s insights were associated with the additional challenges in preparing for a transfer to a remote or rural location. Commencing in a new location also brings the challenge of establishing a social network through such things as sporting groups and community organisations. Her summary discussion reflected upon the continuous forming of relationships in our personal and working lives.

    Whilst in some ways we are more connected via on-line mechanisms there is evidence to suggest many of us are experiencing loneliness. Overall, we are all looking for safe, trusting and supporting relationships and a sense of belonging.

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