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Episode four: Sustaining Regional Communities

Regional Australians are disproportionately affected by barriers that impact access to health and mental wellbeing services. On this episode of Better Agriculture, we learn about how Bayer is contributing to sustaining our regional communities. The Bayer Big Fish challenge is tackling mental resilience across regional Australia, while the Red Cross Baby Hub program provides vital education and resources for mothers and babies in the remote indigenous Galiwin’ku community in the Northern Territory.


Show notes

Our host Ed Gannon is joined by Ben Thompson, the Key Account Manager at Bayer Crop Science, and John Hamparsum, a grain grower from Breeza in the Liverpool Plains of New South Wales. Later in the episode, Ed is joined by Sally Carr, Head of Group Partnerships at the Australian Red Cross.

  • [02:29] Ben explains how the Bayer Big Fish Challenge came to be.


  • [04:29] How does the Bayer Big Fish challenge work?


  • [06:55] What is the Bayer retreat?


  • [12:10] The changing perception of mental health in rural areas.


  • [13:33] Sally explains the Red Cross Australia Baby Hub.


  • [15:34] Isolation, education: What problems does the Baby Hub address?


  • [17:27] The Baby Hub and Bayer, working together.


  • [20:04] Success stories from the Galiwin’ku community.


Guest details

Ben Thompson is the National Key Account Manager at Bayer Crop Science. With 24 years of experience in Sales, Ben manages large accounts that make up to 60% of the total Bayer business portfolio. He specialises in the development of trade campaigns and programs targeted at the agriculture channel. 

John Hamparsum is a grain grower from Breeza, on the Liverpool Plains in New South Wales. John and his sister run an intensive irrigated enterprise where they produce canola, cotton, sorghum, sunflowers and wheat. John was involved in the inaugural Bayer Big Fish Challenge in 2018, and the Bayer Retreat, and went on to nominate friends in the following years.

Sally Carr is the Head of Group Partnerships at Australian Red Cross, responsible for strategic corporate partnerships and philanthropic partnerships. With experience in working within corporate, BCorp and ‘for purpose’ organisations, Sally is a leader who helps tens of thousands of people facing challenging times.

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