Railview - Anna Fryer

Posted on June 27 2017

“I don’t want to be in the city. I want to be somewhere where people are in touch with the land. I’d love to be closer to home. Be closer to family.”

These are the words that, when they came from Anna Fryer’s lips, shocked her family. This, coming from the girl who swore to her Dad that she would live in the city and never return to her country roots. Impossible.

“When I was younger, I absolutely hated home,” Anna said. “I would swear to Dad I’m going to live in the city – I hate this, I hate that. I was adamant and just wanted to go to boarding school.

“Within one term, I changed my mind. I didn’t want to live in the city forever. I realised, this is not who I am.

“I would love to end up back on a property. Looking at the lifestyle, you work hard, but the lifestyle you can have surrounded by your family and the community – there’s nothing like it in the city. 

“You can leave for six months, two years and you come back and everyone’s still your family. It doesn’t matter where you’ve gone or what you’ve done – they are the biggest support.”

That’s not to say that Anna isn’t grateful for the education she has received and the opportunities that came with it.

“Everything I’ve achieved is a credit to my parents – they gave me a great education. 

“I think it’s really important to give your kids the opportunity to get away from home – to play some sports, learn some different musical instruments, and gain some social skills. Not that we don’t know how to party, but it’s about stepping out of your comfort zone.

People think it’s just school, but it’s so much more.”

Having spent the past decade in Brisbane studying, Anna has seen the gaps in understanding between city and country firsthand. 

“Breaking down the barriers between city and country is absolutely crucial to our industry. Once you lose the customer, you are screwed.

“But it’s difficult in so many aspects. People in the city are looking for instant gratification – we are hungry so we go to the grocery store and we get food. We don’t think about the story behind it. Myself included.

“Then there’s the Internet. The media is so dangerous – it can go into an absolute downward spiral if something is misinterpreted and taken to be the truth. Then again, the Internet is good – it allows us to share. A lot of country people are isolated, but that doesn’t mean we are anti-social and don’t know what a phone is.

“The distance has been difficult – being in Brisbane and hearing about Mum and Dad doing pretty tough things and I can’t be there to help them because I am here. That’s when I feel like I’m letting people down in a sense.

“I’m so excited for the time when I can give back to them because they have given me so much support.”

Her parents have also been big influences when it comes to Anna’s sense of style.

“I’ve always raided Mum’s cupboards – wearing her heels and ruining wooden floorboards. And for years and years, whenever we went out working, I would wear ankle boots, but I wouldn’t wear anything but a skirt. I’d be down in the yards branding and in an elastic-banded skirt and little booties.

“As I’ve grown up, I’ve always loved wearing a funky shirt out working. No more skirts though.”

Whether it’s about knowing what she wants to wear or where she wants to be in five years time, Anna is clear. She knows who she is and she knows what’s important.

“Family. For us, our family, that’s everything.” 

 Story by ; Megan Stafford

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