For Brisbane born and raised Anna Radel, her biggest life adventure began when she first helped out at her step-father’s cattle property Tireen near Eidsvold.
After school Anna worked in a busy Brisbane legal practice and attended university at night to study law. Falling in love with rural life she moved to her step-father’s property permanently. Working cattle and helping on the property by day Anna studied law by night. After graduating law externally (and before the internet) Anna continued her legal career in law firms in Monto and Rockhampton where she worked in general practice and litigation.Anna and her husband (Craig Radel of Braedella Brahmans) bought a cattle property at Biloela.
“As a farmer, I understand life on the land and therefore what is important from a legal or agribusiness perspective. I have a lot in common with my clients and they appreciate that first-hand experience.”
Today they run two certified organic cattle properties with the help of their teenage sons Angus and Jackson. In 2002 Anna bought out the two partners of Wright Clarke Solicitors in Biloela – up the road from the family farm. Far from a quiet country practice, Anna has a thriving law firm employing six staff and working for clients around the region and further afield. “As a farmer, I understand life on the land and therefore what is important from a legal or agribusiness perspective,” she said. “I have a lot in common with my clients and they appreciate that first-hand experience.”
Issues & Challenges
So what are the issues and challenges affecting the modern day farmer? According to Anna the ever increasing level of regulation of all aspects of rural life is by far our greatest challenge. Just being aware of what we need to know these days is a huge burden on rural businesses. Our industry is one of the few where we live on the same property as we operate our business. For instance a simple activity that would be relatively unregulated on non-business land on our farms could breach Workplace Health and Safety regulations. We manage very valuable asset bases for a minimal return and yet everything we do is regulated by people who have never been involved in farming or understand the synergy between farmer and farm.
And then there is whether we want our children to follow in our footsteps and how to best manage that transition.
It’s a far cry from her city upbringing but Anna loves the rural life, the wonderful people she meets and opportunities it gives her. City people work hard too there is no doubt about it but few would truly understand the commitment to the farm and the sacrifices made by our farmers. Helping rural families through the legal minefield of modern life is a great way to feel you have done something positive.