Dry Times Talks

A show about hope in drought. Rural Australians and experts share stories and advice to help you look after yourself, your family and your community through tough times.

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Australia’s rural and regional communities have endured drought – and its uncertainty and stress – for a long time. And while it’s raining in some places, drought recovery can be a long and slow journey.

This podcast and short video series is for everyone who’s lived through dry times.

In each episode, you’ll hear from rural Australians sharing their stories, hope and tips: those working on the land, school workers, business owners and community supporters. 

Their stories are backed up by advice from experts in drought resilience, health and wellbeing, who have decades of practical experience supporting our communities.

You’ll hear lots you can relate to (and a few things that can really help).

Listen now

You can listen to episodes and watch the videos on this page below, or subscribe in podcast apps.

Episodes: podcasts and videos

Trigger warning
Some of the things spoken about in this podcast and video series may be distressing to some people. If you or someone you know find this content distressing and require assistance, please call LifeLine on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.


Jasmin and Josh are each adapting to the uncertainty of dry times with their families. And Dr Jacki Schirmer and Dr Rob Gordon talk about managing the impact of drought, disasters and prolonged stress.


Jasmin’s been keeping the family farm going. She offers her tips for staying healthy and well while experiencing stress and uncertainty. Dr Jacki Schirmer shares some truths about the drought cycle and its prolonged impacts.


Pub owner Kym and Regional Recovery Officer Lana share their experiences supporting their local community through dry and other tough times. Red Cross' National Resilience Advisor John Richardson and Dr Kate Gunn talk us through some simple steps to help support others, while also looking after yourself.


Pub owner Kym lends an ear and keeps an eye out for people doing it extra tough – while reminding himself to breathe, too. Red Cross' National Resilience Advisor John Richardson talks us through some simple steps to help when supporting others in the community.


In tough times like drought, the people you care about might need some extra support. Dr Tim Driscoll, John Richardson and Matt March share some really practical advice to help. Dr Margaret Nixon offers insight into what children may experience and some ways to be there for them. And Jaxon and Helen talk us through what they found most useful in supporting others.


Josh shares his story on supporting his dad Andy when the stress of drought and fires impacted his family, and a few things he’d recommend to others. Dr Tim Driscoll from Royal Flying Doctor Service QLD gives us a few key tips on how to be there for others and have those tricky conversations when support might be needed.


It can be difficult to stay healthy and feeling well when you’re under pressure – and you can’t help anyone if you’re not looking after yourself. Alina Hart and John Harper explain how they look after their health and wellbeing, while Dr Kate Gunn from University of South Australia and John Clark from Rural Alive & Well Tas. give you simple strategies that help in stressful times.


Alina Hart talks us through some of the challenges of living in outback Queensland and how she looks after her health and wellbeing. Dr Kate Gunn shares some simple strategies that can help in stressful times.


Planning for tough times isn’t easy, especially while you’re living through them. Our final episode will help you think ahead, make a Plan B and make difficult decisions when you’re faced with them.


Planning for tough times isn’t easy, especially while you’re living through them. Kate explains how her own and her family’s retail businesses survived drought, bushfires and a pandemic, and why a Plan B was so important. Dr Jacki Schirmer shows you how preparation can happen a little bit at a time.

For more information and useful resources, please visit Drought Resilience Program.

With thanks to

for their support of the Drought Resilience Program and this series.

Acknowledgement and thanks to our interviewees from the following organisations and programs for kindly contributing their experiences and advice to this series:

ifarmwell of the Department of Rural Health, University of South Australia, Rural Alive & Well Tasmania Inc., Rural and Drought Support Team for the Western NSW Health Local Health District, Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section), NSW DPI Rural Resilience Program, National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency, University of Canberra Regional Wellbeing Survey, Mate Helping Mate & Rural Outreach Counselling MateKeeper Program,  Men’s Sheds of WA, The Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss & Grief Network (ANU) & Emerging Minds.

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