To celebrate 21 years as a proud sponsor of country footy and netball, WorkSafe has launched a new competition that recognises the valuable role local farmers play in community sport.
Published:29 June 2022
In partnership with AFL Victoria and Netball Victoria, WorkSafe is encouraging country clubs to nominate their local farmer for a chance to be crowned Footy's Favourite Farmer.
In 50 words or less, nominators explain how their farmer’s contribution to community sport makes them deserving of the inaugural title.
Major prizes include $10,000 worth of safety improvements tailored to the winner’s farm, and another $10,000 to boost safety at their local club.
In the lead-up to the major prize in September, monthly farmer winners receive a Footy's Favourite Farmer shirt, a football and a quadbike operator protective device (OPD). The farmer's club also receives a merchandise pack of footballs and netballs.
Monthly winners are announced on the Country Club Hub Facebook page.
WorkSafe Executive Director External Affairs Sam Jenkin said the competition is a great way to promote workplace safety in the regions with weekend sport such an integral part of country life.
"There's such a joy that comes from being a part of country footy and netball – whether that’s through playing, coaching or volunteering," Mr Jenkin said.
"That's why we want to help farmers, their families and workers stay safe on the job – so they can get back to doing more of the things they love."
In regional communities, staying safe at work often means staying safe on farms. But tragically, farmers and farm workers continue to be overrepresented in injuries and fatalities.
Four lives have already been lost in agriculture workplaces this year and last year 542 people working in the sector, about 10 each week, were injured seriously enough to make a worker's compensation claim.
"Farmers and farm workers play a huge role in the welfare of their community. Their health and wellbeing matters to more than just their families."
The competition comes as WorkSafe's farm safety campaign "It's never you, until it is" reappears on screens, radio, print and social media.
As hinted in its name, the campaign's key message challenges a common mindset - 'it won't happen to me' - and highlights that tragedies can happen to anyone who doesn't prioritise safety.
"Farmers know their land better than anybody, but experience doesn't make you invincible," Mr Jenkin said.
"We're not here to tell farmers what to do; we're here to help farmers prioritise safety, and to highlight that deaths and injuries on-farm are preventable, not inevitable."
Nominations for the Footy's Favourite Farmer competition are open until 25 July 2022.