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Murray Mallee’s Suzi Evans – SA Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award finalist

Suzi Evans tackles Grief with Workbench For The Mind’

Three women across South Australia have been announced as the 2024 SA AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Finalists. The accolade is Australia’s leading award acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities.

With a passion for celebrating legends of South Australia, Greater SA will feature a story on each of this year’s deserving finalists.

First up – meet Suzi Evans, who lives with her husband Mick on their sheep property in South Australia’s Murray Mallee.

Being dry mallee farmers, they thought they knew resilience well, but their lives took two almighty tragic blows within 18 months, leaving both struggling to find meaning and purpose. After much soul searching, Suzi trained as an instructor and coach in the mental health arena and established her own business. Her work is now accredited by Suicide Prevention Australia.

She founded “Workbench for the Mind”,  a resilience building program in memory of her son Murray, known as Muzz, who took his own life in 2018. The program aims to help participants understand how the brain works and develop tools to manage their emotions in positive ways.

“Workbench for the Mind” takes its inspiration from Muzz’s favourite place, the workbench, and serves as a metaphor for how our brains, much like a well-stocked workshop, have the potential to construct a better, more resilient life, provided we have the right tools and knowledge at our disposal.

“People of any age don’t need to “toughen up” they need to learn how the brain basics work,” she said.

A key pillar of the program is creating conversations between the generations about mental health.

“Nothing will change unless we change our conversation at the pub, at the footy and in the home. Without an open communication dialogue between generations communities can’t grow or learn from each other,” Suzi said.

“It’s not about being happy all the time, life doesn’t work that way, however when we find our strengths and start living to our own values, we have the tools to manage our emotions and cope with life’s challenges in a more productive way.”



Suzi has also recently released a powerful book titled, Grief – which draws on her own experiences and includes a chapter written by husband Mick.

Just a year after losing Muzz, Mick’s life was put on hold after being struck down with Guillain-Barre syndrome. He went from rolling out hay bales one day to being hospitalised the next and spending six months learning how to walk again.

The book highlights the brain’s response to grief, which can come on many different forms, from the loss of a loved one or a relationship break-up, to life not panning out the way it was envisaged. It also gives tips on how to help others suffering with grief and Suzi hopes that by reading the book and understanding that many of your grieving thoughts are normal, those suffering will feel less alone.

To find out more about “Grief” or to check out the valuable services Suzi offers click here.


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