Hello readers, let me start by introducing myself.
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My name is Keiley Noble. I was named RM Williams RAS Rural Achiever at Sydney Royal this year and I am thrilled to be a guest columnist for ACM.
I call Narromine home and I love it. It's the perfect little town. I moved here seven years ago after meeting my now husband, Ross, at the famous Trangie Races.
One of my favourite things about our town is our annual show ball. I don't mean to gloat but it is the best one in the state. But less about Narromine and more about me.
Like many rural women, I wear many hats.
My main job is policy officer at the Department of Regional NSW where I focus on enabling drought resilience within regional communities. I got into this field having seen first hand the negative effects of drought.
Also, I am a marriage celebrant where I get to watch people experience one of the best days of their lives.
I am a mother and wife. Any spare time I have is often consumed by balancing my six-year-old's schedule and dropping off parts or dinner to my farming and ag contracting husband. Just as wedding season is about to kick off for me, he is gearing up to start hay season.
I am also the founding president of the Western Rural Connect and a chief steward at the Narromine Show.
Winning Rural Achiever (RA) has given me two key things in life that I didn't know was lacking. The first, is a sense of my own identity.
Since my early 20s when I started dating Ross and our daughter Ruby was born, I have more often than not been referred to as someone's partner, mum, or part of someone's business.
Rarely has my own name, career, or achievements been an identifying point for me.
Since being recognised through RA I have a newly formed sense of identity. It's taken a bit to get used to but I am enjoying the experience.
The second thing that I found was lacking was self-confidence.
Yes, with junior judging and now being a celebrant, I am no stranger to a crowd.
I posses a lot of outwards confidence but what's inwards, my self-confidence, has been running low.
I think a lot of it is to do with the above, the loss of identity that comes with being a mum and someone else's biggest cheerleader.
It's easy to invest so much support into others, you forget to give it to yourself. The RA program forced me out of my comfort zone and gave me friends, mentors and a platform to lean on that has helped me rebuild inner belief and confidence in myself.
As a result, I've shared ideas that have started to gain traction. I'll share more on these in the future but for now, that's me.
I hope you have enjoyed an insight into my life.
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