Rural communities | State Library of New South Wales

Rural communities

Viable rural communities are essential to life on the land. Without the support and sense of belonging to a local community, people could not survive the harsh conditions and isolation of rural and remote areas. Community events and institutions have always been a mainstay of country life and help to overcome the loneliness felt by many on the land. Regional festivals, social and sporting events, as well as institutions such as the local church or school help to build close-knit communities and punctuate a hardworking year with much needed entertainment and social contact.

> Find more about social and recreational activities in rural communities

Community events

Agricultural societies and shows are a way of bringing rural communities together and have become a feature of rural life. Whether local regional shows or Sydney’s famous Royal Easter Show, they are an opportunity to showcase regional livestock and produce. To many people, especially those in remote areas, the local show constitutes the highlight of the year and is a focal point for the whole community.

> Learn more about rural organisations and societies

Organisations and societies

Organizations such as the Country Women’s Association help to improve welfare and conditions for country women and their families. Medical services such as the Bush Nursing Association of NSW and the Royal Flying Doctor Service have made a real difference in improving health facilities and services in rural and remote areas.

The role of education and involvement of young people in rural societies and youth groups is important, as they are the future of rural life in Australia. Sadly, the exodus of young people leaving rural communities has always been a problem.

Even though over 60 percent of Australians currently live in capital cities, as a nation Australia still recognises a close affinity to the unique landscape of the countryside and to those who live on the land. The cultural mythology of ‘life on the land’ is a pervasive one, represented in our literature, music and folklore. A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson's iconic poem The Man from Snowy River, Dorothea Mackellar's My Country, and Jack O'Hagan's song Along the Road to Gundagai - are all ingrained in our national phyche.



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