The Raw Truth Podcast
The Raw Truth - sharing authentic stories to normalise conversations around grief, trauma and mental health.
Join Harriet as she speaks with other rural New Zealander's who have raw and honest stories to share. The shocking, emotional reality of life is confronted as they speak up about the 'raw truths' in their lives.
Unburying things that traditionally we sweep under the rug and avoid confronting, Harriet aims to help you become more able to deal with whatever life throws at you in the future.
Be inspired by those who remove their masks by sharing their remarkable and relatable stories.
Zanda McDonald Award
Harriet was the Zanda McDonald Award 2023 New Zealand Winner.
The Zanda McDonald Award recognises young people working in the primary industry sectors in New Zealand and Australia, and aims to support their future career development. The Award was launched in 2014 by the Zanda Mentoring Group (ZMG) in honour of Zanda McDonald. The group, led by Shane McManaway, has grown into a collective of over 150 of Australasia's top rural leaders. This impressive network of industry mentors is available to award finalists and winners, providing them with invaluable support and guidance.
If you are a young professional aged 18-35 who is working in the primary industry sectors in New Zealand and Australia, then this award is for you. Whether you are a farmer, a scientist, a researcher, or a business leader, the Zanda McDonald Award provides a unique opportunity to showcase your skills, knowledge, and achievements. By applying for this award, you will join a community of like-minded individuals who are committed to driving innovation, sustainability, and growth in the primary industry sectors.
WOOL'S THE WORD
Harriet partnered with the New Zealand Merino Company to produce her latest book which celebrates the wonder of wool and is an educational tool to teach those all about our farming industry and what really happens to get the wool off a sheep's back.
Click below to read the Farmers Weekly article.
Use Your Voice Breakfast Interview
View the live interview where I have a good chat with Hayley about the new book ‘Use Your Voice’ and mental health and wellbeing.
Point Of View Interview on Country TV
I was lucky enough to be invited to join Mark Leishman on his Point of View show for a chat last week!
Mark and I talked about what is happening within Agriculture in the health, safety and wellbeing space, my Gurt and Pops book range and how each story came about, #PlantASeedForSafety Initiative and Grief.
Mark made me feel really comfortable and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting him and the team at Country TV in Auckland.
I feel very extremely lucky to be so well supported by the team at Safer Farms of Tony Watson and Erin Speedy along with our wonderful board and members in industry.
Please feel free to share this video to help spread the message about these very important topics in our industry.
Using Children's books to teach farm safety
South Canterbury local Harriet Bremner lost her long-term partner suddenly in a tragic farming accident in 2017.
So Harriet, who's also a children's author, decided she wanted to teach kids about how to stay safe when they're out and about on the farm.
So she wrote a book about it!
Harriet's on the line to chat about farming 101, and why it's important to hammer safety messages home from a young age.
Pupils learn from hands-on activities at multi-agency farm safety day
More than 100 children joined industry leaders for a farm safety day at Middlemarch.
The initiative, which was led by the Strath Taieri School student council, was held in partnership with the local community, Safer Farms and New Zealand Young Farmers.
It was hosted at Strath Taieri School but pupils from Lee Stream School and Macraes Moonlight School also came along to learn.
Newshub: A Canterbury woman is using her grief to educate others about farm safety.
Harriet Bremner's life was changed forever when her partner was killed on their farm in January.
James Hayman died instantly in a machinery incident in January 2017.
"Nothing prepares you for something like this.... it's the most devastating thing that can possibly happen to a person when you don't get to say goodbye," said Ms Bremner.
But Ms Bremner is channelling her grief into creating books.
"It's how I deal with it ... I write ... and I just really don't want anyone else if possible to have a missing seat at the Christmas table."
The primary school teacher has already penned one book about the unlikely friendship between James and their dachshund Poppy.
"She followed him everywhere. She was often seen down the front of his jersey on a cold day."
Now Ms Bremner's released a second book called Be Safe, Be Seen, which is all about farm safety.
"And not presuming that because we put something like a hi-vis vest on that we're instantly bomb-proof," she said.
Since 2013, 105 people have died in agriculture. Seven of those were children under the age of 13.
Breakfast TV Interview
Harriet Bremner’s partner James died in a farm machinery accident in 2017. Now she’s on a mission to make sure others don’t have to go through the same pain.
Helping kids get through tough times
Harriet speaks to Sarah Perriam about getting through tough times.
Pupils learn farm safety… from a practical perspective:
It all started at Strath Taieri School with a sore finger: it was the senior classroom’s first day in the woodwork room and a year 7 pupil had a minor run-in with a chisel. The unfortunate incident led to a discussion about first aid and the idea of a farm safety day started to take shape.
Strath Taieri School teacher Kate Martin said farming was in the blood for many of the pupils at the rural school located 78km inland from Dunedin. She and principal James McArthur were looking for a unique way to harness the pupils’ enthusiasm for farming and tie it in with learning.
Elle Perriam and Harriet Bremner join forces to empower Canterbury farmers
Two young rural women who have a friendship with a difference will make their first public appearance together in a bid to change the way those in the rural sector think.
Elle Perriam, founder of Will To Live, and Harriet Bremner, children's author and safety campaigner have both lived through tremendous grief, suffering the loss of both of their partners.
With a bond shared through their deep grief, love of dogs, horses, farming and passion for people - the duo are pairing up for the first time to tell their stories, hosting an event at the Rolleston School Auditorium on March 2.
Presented by The Rolleston Lions Club, "Two Rural Heroines" will raise money for the Will To Live Foundation and Use Your Voice.
Keep your family safe on and off the farm
Having conversations with your children is important because the fact is … people are dying on our farms, Harriet Bremner says.
“We die on our farms. A simple tragic fact. We can make excuses about why that happens, we can blame variables beyond our control, and we can wrongly assume it won’t happen to us...
FARMSTRONG: Book to help kids through tough times
A new children’s book designed to generate discussion about mental health in rural communities is proving a hit with schools.
Use Your Voice tells the story of two dogs. Huntaway Jess loves chasing sheep round the high country but the pressures of life get to her and she loses her ability to bark. No longer much use on-farm, she finds herself confined to her kennel. As her mood changes, the colour slowly drains from the illustrations. A powerful metaphor for kids.
But help is at hand in the form of sausage dog Poppy who teaches Jess to share her feelings rather than bottling them up.
Global health and safety movement launches in NZ
Save a life, listen to your wife - that’ s the message from a new global health and safety movement for rural women being launched in New Zealand.
Safer Farms has partnered with Australia’s Alex Thomas to bring The #PlantASeedForSafety Project across the ditch.
The #PlantASeedForSafety Project works by profiling women from all parts of rural communities who are making positive and practical health and safety changes - from farm owners, shepherds, workers, wives and partners, to nurses, doctors and teachers, agricultural contractors, shearing contractors and even the local barista - as every person living in a rural community contributes to the health, safety and wellbeing of those around them.
Raised on a sheep and beef farm on the South Island’s Banks Peninsula, Harriet has always felt a connection with water, hills and farming. Currently residing in South Canterbury, Harriet finds herself following a new life journey as a children’s book author and campaigner for improved health, safety and wellbeing in rural industries.
Upon losing her partner to a farming-related incident in 2017, Harriet started following her dreams of writing. She has since released three books for rural children. Founder of Gurt and Pops, Harriet’s first book Bob ‘n’ Pops is a memorial story based on the true friendship between a southern man and his miniature dachshund. Harriet’s second book Be Safe, Be Seen highlights the importance of practical conversations between adults and their children to stay safe on the farm. Use Your Voice, Harriet’s third book, teaches children self-help strategies when it comes to their wellbeing.
When asked what concerned Harriet about the health and safety of those in rural industries and communities, Harriet highlighted the challenges associated with the traditional mindset of farmers that ‘it will never happen to me’. In reality, an incident can happen to anyone – even the most experienced of operators. Harriet reinforced the importance of taking a practical approach to health and safety, making good decisions and ensuring that getting home to your family at the end of each day remains a priority.
New book encourages Kiwi kids to talk about mental health
A new children's book focusing on mental health is being praised by both the mental health and agriculture sectors.
Written by children's author Harriet Bremner, "Use Your Voice" is a collaboration with Elle Perriam founder of Will To Live charity and their dogs – Poppy the sausage dog and Jess the Huntaway.
For former primary school teacher Bremner, it's her third book in a series aimed at rural children under her brand Gurt And Pops.
"It's about spreading important messages. We need to give children the tools to be able to cry when they feel like it, talk to someone about how they are feeling without judgement and have a tribe around them who will stand by their side through thick and thin," she said.
The inspiration behind children’s book Bob n Pops
Children’s books are a great Christmas present for the younger ones in the family, especially beautiful picture books that tell ‘life on the farm’ stories.
One very successful book, Bob n Pops, tells the story of the unlikely friendship between a rugged farm boy and his sausage dog.
Author Harriet Bremner joins Rural Exchange to discuss the inspiration for the book.
“I had always wanted to write a children’s picture book.”
When her partner James Hayman past away in a tragic farming accident this year, Ms Bremner wanted to do something to honour his memory.
Harriet Bremner championing farm safety following tragic accident
In January 2017, James Hayman was killed in a farm machinery accident on his Canterbury farm.
At just 27 years old, he left behind his parents, a brother, a sister and his much loved partner Harriet Bremner.
Harriet, now 30 years old, is championing safety on farms and talking about the grief suffered by those left behind in the wake of such incidents.
She has written two children’s books, established her own blog called The Raw Truth – discussing the unimaginable grief suffered by those left behind and is ready to speak out on her experience of love and loss.
Author visit to Belfast School
Harriet Bremner, a self published author, visited Belfast School to coincide with the launch of the Belfast School Reading Awards.
Harriet was joined by her lovable miniature dachshund, Poppy, who features in all of Harriet's books. Harriet did a presentation on why reading is important and how she gets an idea for her stories with our Year 5-8 students.
She used "Use Your Voice" as an example for the children. This is a story set in New Zealand High Country with a very important message around mental health and how important it can be to 'use your voice' and speak up. A Huntaway named Jess lost her bark and was feeling blue but with the help of Pops and her farmyard friends she found the courage to get through.
It was great to see how engaged the children were with the story and with the process of a book going from an idea to being published. Some of the children were a little surprised at how a simple idea can be the basis for a story.
The Lip Podcast Interview
“The boys all rocked up with their labradors and James would arrive with his sausage dog.”
He was a Southern Man. She was a sausage dog. They went together like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito. Harriet Bremner tells the story of her life with such unlikely companions... and what happened when everything went wrong.
Schools pair up with NZ Young Farmers and Safer Farms to lead farm safety day in Otago
Over one hundred children have taken part in a mammoth farm safety day in Otago alongside industry leaders.
The initiative which was led by the Strath Taieri School student council, was hosted in partnership with the local community, Safer Farms and New Zealand Young Farmers on Friday.
Hosted at Strath Taieri School in Middlemarch, Lee Stream School and Macraes Moonlight also came along to learn with 112 children and 65 families in attendance.
Strath Taieri teacher and student council leader, Kate Martin said the idea started when a child had a minor incident during woodwork and wanted to learn more about first aid and how to be safe and be seen on the farm.
We at Dairy Holdings are proud to support the #PlantASeedForSafety Project in New Zealand.
Targeted at rural women, this project shares positive stories about health, safety and wellbeing in order to influence change in rural industries and communities and boost women’s confidence in their ability to influence change.
The #PlantASeedForSafety Project works by profiling women from all parts of rural communities who are making practical improvements to health, safety and wellbeing – from farm owners, shepherds, workers, wives and partners, to nurses, doctors and teachers, agricultural contractors, shearing contractors and even the local barista – as every person living in a rural community contributes to the health, safety and wellbeing of someone.
Safer Farms has partnered with #PlantASeedForSafety’s Founder, Australia’s Alex Thomas, to bring the project to New Zealand.
Both believe that a bit of paperwork or taking a ‘box ticking’ approach towards improving health and safety isn’t going to change minds – it’s social change that’s needed.