Clinical Psychologist at Cultivate Psychology and Actor Ag Develop and Trainer – Rural SA
In this episode, we welcome Stephanie Schmidt – a Clinical Psychologist, who most recently, was awarded the 2020 SA Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award for her project to develop ACTforAg – a community-based skills training program to build psychologically flexible and resilient farmers, families, and communities.
Growing up in suburban Adelaide with a supermarket at the end of the street, 5 minutes from everywhere, farming life definitely wasn’t on Steph’s radar. However, when she was 19, she met her farmer, now husband, while working at The Woolshed (the country pub in the city) and life took a new direction.
Fast forward 14 years, Steph now lives at Worlds End, South Australia with her husband and 3 gorgeous boys (6,3 and 1 month) on their mixed enterprise farm (cropping and sheep). Steph is a Clinical Psychologist, and most recently, was awarded the 2020 SA Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award for her project to develop ACTforAg – a community-based skills training program to build psychologically flexible and resilient farmers, families, and communities.
In farming and family life, Steph has learnt firsthand just how important it is to be flexible and adaptive to challenging situations. After the birth of her first son, Steph developed Postnatal Depression and through this has learnt the importance of looking after herself and her own wellbeing to then be able to look after those around her.
Steph and Simon farm approximately 17,000 acres across two main properties with additional leasing and share farming. They bought 2 properties at the start of 2018 and then were hit with the severest drought on record. Within the farm business, Steph is responsible for managing the finances as well as assisting with extra farm jobs whenever she is able, especially at shearing, seeding and harvest time.
The ongoing pressure of drought, and just the everyday challenges of farming life, managing a relationship, and raising a family, together with her psychological knowledge gives Steph unique insight. Steph knows all too well that it is practice rather than knowledge that makes the difference in day to day wellbeing.
Steph is passionate about sharing her learnings and skills and has a vision to see a resilient rural Australia which can face the inevitable challenges and thrive in adversity.
Steph loves spending time on the farm with her husband and sons and enjoys the privilege of being able to work together as a family. She also attempts some crochet to keep her hands busy when her mind needs down time, and loves the feel of grass under her toes when she just hangs out with her kids outside.
Steph is currently taking maternity leave and adapting to life as a busy family of 5, however will be running ACTforAg programs both online and face to face in communities in 2021.
Stephanie’s top well-being tips:
- Get your priorities in order. For me, it’s remembering my priorities are me, my relationship with my husband, and then the kids. Over time I’ve come to realise that if I do it in any other order, then the wheels can fall off a little bit.
- Just doing one thing. I try not to multitask. If I am writing an email, then just do that. If I’m sitting with the kids, just do that. Not trying to do too many things at once.
- Always remember that we can start fresh tomorrow.
Purchase Cynthia's Well-Being Wisdom Cards, with inspiration and well-being tips from the Well-Being Wednesday guests.
Cynthia is a facilitator, coach, mentor, speaker and author with a passion for personal disruption, neuroscience, positive psychology, courageous conversations, human performance and well-being. Her mantra (taken from the latest neuroscience research) is that “Happier people are higher performing,” and she strives to help leaders and teams achieve this in the workplace
Cynthia is passionate about working with people to develop their life and leadership skills and to increase diversity and participation in decision-making in industry, government and the community. She’s a strong believer in bringing people together to identify issues, exchange ideas and develop solutions that work for them, their business or organisation, their family and community.
Louise Thomson is a confident, courageous, and enthusiastic women who contributes her experience and wisdom to those who aspire to be better leaders. With three decades in leadership positions within corporate Australia, NFPs, and her own Leadership Development Practice, Louise has experienced most situations faced by leaders.
She was once described as an outstanding ‘blank canvas’ facilitator; enabling groups to learn from each other while providing dedicated support and expertise in leadership development. Louise also mentors’ future business leaders, hosts several leadership programs and enjoys the larger audience to present her ideas about how to make leadership easy.