From city to country to campdrafting

HAPPY: Lana Russell can’t get enough of the country life.
HAPPY: Lana Russell can’t get enough of the country life. Hayden Smith

THERE is a lot to be admired about Lana Russell's down-to-earth nature.

Mrs Russell is one of the countless volunteers who tirelessly bring together local campdrafts.

And last weekend's Stanthorpe Campdraft was no exception.

Mrs Russell's behind the scenes work went a long way towards the success of an event that has become a highlight on the Stanthorpe Agricultural Society's calendar.

But rather than seeking recognition, Mrs Russell was just proud to be a part of such occasions and to do what she loves.

Born and raised in Brisbane's western suburbs, she dreamed as a teenager to escape the city for a life in a rural setting.

So at age 18, after graduating from Corinda State High School, she took a risk and moved away from bustling Brisbane.

The risk was worth the reward.

She met her husband Philip, a farrier, and they now live together at a property in Braeside.

The pair have two sons - Matthew, 22, and Robert, 18 - both of whom enjoyed the country upbringing.

"Matthew is working on a property at Westmar. He is living the dream," Mrs Russell said.

Mrs Russell said she never looked back after leaving Brisbane.

"I needed to get away. The city life just wasn't for me," she said.

Although she campdrafts herself, Mrs Russell said the most enjoyable aspect of working on various committees was seeing people get together.

"You catch up with old friends and can meet plenty of other like-minded people," she said.

Campdrafting would continue to grow in popularity because people were seeing its social benefits, Mrs Russell said.

"The people is what it really comes down to," she said.

"We build friendships over the space of the weekend.

"You don't have to have the best horse or anything. People help and encourage one another."

Mrs Russell said as the campdrafts continued to grow, more volunteers would be needed to help with their operation.

"We like to see the events run as smoothly as possible, so any volunteers would be appreciated," she said.

"In recent years you could nominate for a campdraft event a week before. Now they are all full within 24 hours of opening."

Mrs Russell's toil and positive attitude towards the campdrafts have certainly been appreciated by Stanthorpe Campdraft secretary Paula Boatfield.

"Lara is irreplaceable to me as a co-committee member," Mrs Boatfield said.

"Her knowledge of campdrafting helps us improve every year."

Mrs Boatfield said she hoped her friend Lara would remain involved for many years to come. And she needn't worry, it would seem.

"We love it here. We are not going anywhere," Mrs Russell said.

Topics:  campdrafting stanthorpe