RESILIENCE is not about bouncing back, it's about bouncing forward - that was a key message when The Big Community Muster came to Tamworth today.
The "rural health check-in" was in its final hours of covering 12 locations in six days, having visited Gunnedah yesterday and moving onto Scone this afternoon.
Among the speakers was consultant Dennis Hoiberg, who specialises in change management and emotional resilience.
He told a crowd of about 40 people the latter was not, as many believed, about "being tough, resistance, hanging in there, grit".
Rather, it was about being able to accept the situation and make a way forward.
"The most resilient people are the ones who say … 'This has happened, now we've got to accept it and move on'."
The group also heard from ANZ NSW agribusiness manager Alister Bennett and accounting firm RSM Australia director Gerard O'Brien.
Mr O'Brien said one issue common to most of the events had been difficulty applying for government help, Farm Household Allowance a particularly "unwieldy monster".
"The issue for a lot of them is … 'How do we get an application in on top of managing the farm day-to-day?'"
Some of the obstacles were accessing and being comfortable using the Internet, and the documentation needed.
Mr O'Brien said his advice was to contact an agency such as Rural Financial Counselling Service, Rural Adversity Mental Health Program or Local Land Services.
"All of those guys have people on the ground prepared to help you with the forms, so that you do, in fact, get the assistance."
Mr Hoiberg said the guest numbers had been varied but even the smaller groups had been "really engaged".
But there was one under-represented group: rural and regional business owners, the "lost voice" in this drought who'd been missed by most support measures.
Although based in Melbourne, he said he visited this part of the country often and "it's really hit me this time".
"While the farming communities are well being catered for and well being supported by state and federal initiatives, I'm really worried about infrastructure of regional towns, in terms of the bakeries and the pharmacies, the newsagencies … The number of places I've been through where in the main street every third shop is down."