20 August 2018 (Journeyman Pictures) – In the Australian outback, farmers are suffering the profound consequences of severe drought, the worst for a decade. Three families give their own outlook on the nature of hardship in a changing world.

“It attacks you from all angles”, says Brendan Cullen of Kars Station, New South Wales. “The drought will affect your animals, it’ll affect your household, your mental health.” He believes the difficulties he faces keeping his farm running are the reason he was diagnosed with depression.

Periods of prolonged drought are becoming more and more frequent across Australia. Some parts of Queensland have been in periods of abnormally low rainfall for six years.

“You can’t take a break during drought”, says Adma Sargood of Halton Station, Queensland. “If you take a break, your animals suffer.”

Screenshot from the short film, 'Australia's Drought', shows a kangaroo jumping in front of a depleted reservoir. 'Australia's Drought' documents how the extreme drought is affecting farmers in the Australian outback in 2018. Photo: Journeyman Pictures

Many farms have had to reduce their stock to core breeding animals only, and even then it’s a struggle to keep them alive. In Tullibigeal, New South Wales, Zara King tries to nurse a weakened cow back to health, but her efforts are in vain; by next morning, it is dead.

“There’s no fun times”, says her mother Allyson. “There’s no good times together, you know.”

With the normally dry winter months approaching, surviving off the land is becoming ever tougher in rural Australia. For more information, visit https://www.journeyman.tv/film/7410.

Australia's Farmers Endure Crippling Drought

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