Mum’s the word

WHEN Stephanie Trethewey started a podcast three years ago she had no idea what that would lead to.

Now her Motherland Australia podcast has clicked over more than 500,000 downloads and she has recently completed her latest project, writing a book.

Motherland is collection work of 14 inspiring stories of rural women and mums from around the country, including Tasmania.

Mrs Trethewey runs the Tas Ag Co beef farming business with her husband, Sam, and started the podcast when she was struggling with postnatal depression after the birth of her first child.

After moving to Tasmania to start their farming business, Mrs Trethewey said as a new mum without family support or a network here, she felt isolated and struggled.

“I just started Montherland because I needed something for me outside of the farm and motherhood, but it was only ever supposed to be a little podcast,” she said.

In 2021 Motherland Village was launched, the country’s first online mothers’ group.

The organisation, which is now an official charity, runs programs for rural mums and helps connect them in their regions across every state.

Last year Mrs Trethewey won the national AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for her work on motherland.

It was an email from a publisher two years ago that sparked an idea for a book.

“Its’ the hardest thing I’ve ever done professionally, but also deeply personal,” she said.

“I’m more of a talker than a writer. Being an ex journo I do like to write, but I prefer to talk and there’s a difference between interviewing someone for a podcast and having to interview them more deeply for a book and bringing it all together into a written format.”

She started working on the book when her son Elliot was two and daughter Evie was just six months old.

With a collection of 170 podcasts, choosing which stories to include in the book was a challenge, but she said it was important to her that every state was represented.

“I also wanted every generation to be represented.

“So we’ve got mums in their thirties right through to Pat Fennell, my mate in Queensland who turns 90 this year,” she said.

“When we moved here, I thought I had to fit the stereotypical rural woman cookie cutter mould.

“I really struggled to find my place because I’m not from the land, so where did I fit?. Motherland was really about breaking those stereotypes and letting every rural woman feel like she’s got her own unique story.”

She said on a personal level Motherland had been life- changing.

“If it wasn’t for Motherland I don’t know if I could love my life here like I do. It’s like my third baby.”

The book is available now from bookstores across the state.