Ella DeBruyn of Carnamah and formerly of Eneabba  |  100x70cm Giclée Fine Photographic Print by Martine Perret (2021)

Ella DeBruyn

"My name is Ella, I am 20 years old. I had a great childhood growing up on the farm in Carnamah where I spent a lot of time with all of our animals. We had cows, sheep, cats, dogs, and chooks. I was able to hand rear lambs and calves that had been orphaned which was a wonderful experience and there was so much freedom being able to enjoy all of the space, I absolutely loved it.

The transition from living in the country to boarding school was very difficult. I was very homesick as it was just so different to what I was used to. But it helped me build resilience and independence, attributes that have helped me navigate life since then.

Farming is an incredibly stressful job. I think that a lot of people would benefit from better access to resources to help improve their mental health. Maybe due to the isolation and remoteness, it's not really something that's focused on here in the country. People tend to brush it off.

I am currently studying Veterinary Medicine. The stereotypes around women, not being physically or mentally capable of doing this type of work, especially when working with large animals in the country, are still prevalent. I'd like to think that society is becoming more progressive and open to the idea that women can work just as well as their male counterparts in the Veterinary field. 

From what I’ve heard the first few years out of university, working as a new graduate, will be very challenging. Growing up on the farm has instilled in me a special interest in production animals so I would like to initially work in a mixed practice clinic. I would love to do the cattle pregnancy testing for my Dad at our farm one day!"


Click below to view the full portrait and read each story from the Act Belong Commit exhibition Women of the Hinterlands