Bred tough: Hard knocks won’t keep farmer Adele down
IT'S not what happens when you fall down but how you pull yourself back up that determines the course of most of our lives.
Hinterland farmer Adele Pitt (pictured) is an example of how even the most seemingly insurmountable odds can be overcome.
All she needs now is for an employer to look beyond the crutches and the permanent disability she sustained in a horrific quad bike accident and measure the true weight of her worth.
The registered nurse and occupational therapist grew up on a dairy farm with a desire to one day own her own.
Without the necessary capital she instead studied at the University of Southern Queensland in Hervey Bay, graduated winning the Dean's Award for Nursing and quickly found a job as a theatre nurse at Rockhampton Hospital.
She also managed to gather the funds to buy a 51ha farm at Kidaman Creek in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Then in 2007 disaster struck.
Adele was driving a quad bike uphill stacked with fencing posts when it hit a rock in long grass and overturned smashing first into her face and eventually rolling over her back.
"Everything in life changes for you and your family," she said of the accident's impact.
Fortunately her parents were on hand and quickly called the Sunshine Coast rescue helicopter and an ambulance.
With the chopper unable to land she was transported by ambulance to Nambour General Hospital suffering a spinal chord injury and then eventually by air to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane where she remained for five months followed by a month of transitional rehabilitation.
Two years after the accident, Adele returned to work as a registered nurse in an aged care hostel and spent 18 months doing a job she loved.
The environment changed and, after being unable to get work elsewhere, decided to enrol in occupational therapy at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
"I'm more hard-working than smart," Adele says.
"Everything I do, I do to my best."
Her best, which included an imbedded honours' degree, was good enough to win a USC commendation for academic excellence.
Since she finished at the end of 2014 it has not been, however, good enough to land her a job in her chosen field.
Adele's nobody's victim.
The farm ties her to this region and she's not the only one from her graduating class still to find employment.
"There are not many jobs on the Coast," she said.
"I've had interviews but they say they've found someone with more experience. As a graduate I accept I would need more assistance and training. I've only had one say they didn't think I could physically do the job.
"I'm frustrated by it but what do you do?"
In Adele's case it's to get on with it.
She volunteers once a week at Eden Rehabilitation Centre in Cooroy and continues to run her farm including working her 40 head of cattle no longer needing her parents' help except when branding.
"Everything in life" may have changed since Adele's accident - except her indomitable spirit, her skill and her desire to get the job done that should be worth its weight in gold to prospective employers.