‘Women Of Liebe’ has followed various Liebe members throughout the year to celebrate their background, involvement, goals and aspirations living in the local agricultural region. Welcome to Wendy Sawyer from Dalwallinu.
In June 2017, we caught up with Wendy Sawyer to chat about her involvement in her family farming business, Wimmera Farm in Dalwallinu, alongside her husband Rob Sawyer.
What is your background?
Born in Yorkshire, England and my parents brought my four sisters and I to Australia to live in 1971. I then grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth. I began working for the Commonwealth Government in 1979 in clerical/administration type roles. Following my engagement to local Farmer, Rob Sawyer, I moved to Dalwallinu in December 1987 as I got the position of Shire Clerk Secretary. We then married in February 1988, living in a shire house for the first 18 months. We then moved into a new transportable home on the home farm, Wimmera Farm, in July 1989. I finished working at the shire in September 1990 to have my first of three sons and be a stay at home Mum. In 1998, when my youngest was in Pre-Primary, I began working at Jolly & Sons in Dalwallinu and continued there for twelve years until 2010. My main role was finance and business administration and during this time I also completed a Certificate of Business Finance with Edith Cowan University.
What is your role in your farm business?
I am the office administration person, handling all the budgeting, liaising with financiers, accounts receivable and payable, payroll, basic accountancy and general administration. It is a fairly major role and takes up much of my time. I am pretty much on call all the time and have learnt how to do as much as possible on my phone for when I am away from the farm. I love my role on the farm as it keeps me in touch with what is happening in the paddock and I have learnt a great deal since being in the office.
What do you enjoy most about living in a rural area?
Having raised three boys on the farm, the best thing I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy is the wide-open spaces. I also really appreciate the sense of community living in a rural area and knowing that people band together to help each other when needed.
What is your involvement in the Liebe Group?
As the Office Administrator on the farm, my major involvement with Liebe is attending the Women’s Field Day event and some of the courses that Liebe arrange either independently or in conjunction with other organisations, such as Partners in Grain.
What have you gained through the Liebe Group?
I have learnt many things from attending their courses, such as the Myers Briggs Personality course, office and employment procedures and of course, the opportunity to network with many like minded people.
Who or what inspires you?
First and foremost my parents for having the courage to move to Australia and leave a huge family network behind in England. They worked extremely hard to achieve the best they could for us girls and provide us with a good education and instill in us a good work ethic. Secondly, Ken Jolly and the Jolly family, for giving me an opportunity to work and still be a Mum who could drop the kids at school, pick them up and be there for them any time I was needed. My experience at Jolly & Sons was one that I have been able to draw upon in our farming business to help us build a great family business that our staff enjoy being part of too.
What are your life aspirations?
My goals for the future are to live a happy and healthy life here in Dalwallinu, surrounded by great friends and a wonderful family. I would also love to travel as much as time permits to seek out new places in the world and experience different cultures.
What does the Women’s Field Day mean to you?
I have attended all the Women’s Field Days since 2009 when I was winding down my job at Jolly’s. I have enjoyed the variety of speakers over the years and hopefully gained at least a little knowledge from each of them. I appreciate the networking with other Women involved in Agriculture, whose lives are very similar to mine and being able to swap stories and tales of life on the farm.
Thank’s for taking the time to catch up with us Wendy!