Junior Farmers and Rural Youth to be reunited

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Members of the Junior Farmers and Rural Youth organisations from around the region are invited to a reunion on the weekend of 1 and 2 April 2023.

The weekend features a dance and supper on 1 April at Tamrookum Hall for those who would like to get their dancing shoes on and a gathering on Sunday 2 April from 10am in Jubilee Park, Beaudesert.

The Junior Farmers and Rural Youth movements were Australia wide organisations with  recreational, vocational and personal aims.

Founded through the Department of Education, the aims were derived from the 1946 Government Committee report:

a)  To increase the vocational efficiency of individual members.

b)  To increase the members’ value as a member of the community.

c)  To increase the members’ power to use leisure time to advantage to himself and his fellows.

Local dairy farmer, Laurie Dunne was Rural Youth State President from 1979 to 1981.

Laurie said in days when many young people left school between the age of 12 to 15 years, the Young Farmers and Rural Youth organisations were important ways to socialise and educate them for leadership roles in the work place as well as community organisations.

“Different areas had different demographics in their memberships,” said Laurie.

“For example, Beaudesert had more tradespeople as members where Tamrookum had more farmers.  It was a great organisation to be part of.  We had trips away, exhibits at the Brisbane Show and debating and public speaking competitions.”

Although the reasoning behind the original creation of the Junior Farmers movement lay in the need for agricultural training, members became involved in other local community bodies such as Show Societies, Primary Producer Groups and the Country Women’s Association, because of the superior ability of Junior Farmers members in Chairmanship, organisation and meeting procedures.

Many local communities recognised these attributes of Junior Farmers members as distinct advantages and as a major reason for providing support of the Junior Farmers movement.

Laurie said the movement fizzled out around 1990 as more young people went through to Year 12 and university and the government changed focus to further formal education.

Reunion organisers Lani Deeran and Laurie Dunne are keen to speak to people who have memorabilia, including photos, uniforms and badges from the Junior Farmers or Rural Youth days.

For all enquiries please contact Lani Deeran on 0488 785 325 or Laurie Dunne on 0407 442 198.

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Small town newspaper Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady.