Nat wears heart on her sleeve for outback fashion label

If you spot Andrews farmer Nat Sommerville looking a little brighter than usual, it may be thanks to her new work shirt which has been designed by an outback fashion label in honour of inspirational women from the bush.

Nat joins Buy from the Bush founder Grace Brennan and National Farmers’ Federation president Fiona Simson in the list of inspirational women who Antola Trading has honoured in its latest collection of shirts.

Known for its vibrant, colourful shirts which it says “encourages confidence and femininity”, the outback fashion label has designed eight new women’s shirts as part of its latest collection – all named after women Antola Trading founder Alicia McClymont believes are doing inspirational and exciting things in rural Australia.

“As a woman who’s lived most of my life in outback Queensland, I wanted to shine a light on some of the amazing women who contribute to the agricultural industry and inspire the next generation of women interested in rural industries,” she said.

The eight women chosen as namesakes for the shirts represent agricultural professions that have moved beyond traditional farming methods, from politics and finance to publishing, start-ups and entrepreneurialism.

“There is a story behind every shirt we design where we aim to share the varied opportunities and experiences available for women in primary industries with our readers. As well as advocating women in these roles, we provide clothing needed to fulfill them, all while looking great and expressing your personal style at the same time,” Alicia said.

Nat Sommerville is managing director of Windjara Ag, a grain and livestock producer, mother and proud Torres Strait Islander.

Together with husband Dane, Natalie has been managing their farming businesses Windjara Ag and Euromina Holdings for more than 15 years.

Driven by her passion for sustainable agriculture and the environment, Nat aims to influence positive change in rural Australia and seeing greater innovation, inclusion of gender and age, and respect for diverse backgrounds.

She is passionate about sharing her farming, cultural and social knowledge and experiences to improve outcomes for both current and future generations.

During her spare time, Nat volunteers on many community, industry and government boards including South Australian Grain Producers SA (GPSA) sub-committees and SA Ag Excellence Alliance.

She is an advocate for sustainable agriculture and improved environmental landscape function for long-term production and biodiversity. 

Nat said she was thrilled to have a shirt designed in her honour and, given a choice of designs, Nat chose a bright protea print shirt.

“Proteas are native to southern Africa and belong to the same family of plants as Australia’s native Banksias, Grevilleas and Waratahs,” she said.

“So I guess the Protea print drew me to my love of our natural environment. It reminds me of our native plant varieties here in Australia and the amazing bush foods, fibre and medicine we have at our doorstep.

“I’ll be wearing my heart on my sleeve so to speak because I’m so passionate about promoting our bush foods and can now show it through my shirt.”

Women honoured in the collection, include: Grace Brennan (founder of Buy From The Bush, Warren, NSW); April Cavanagh (head of Agribusiness at Suncorp Group, Toowoomba, QLD); Fiona Simson (president National Farmers’ Federation, Gunnedah, NSW); Jessica Fealy (Blue Sky Produce, Mareeba, QLD); Hannah Marriott (sheep farmer and 2014 Nuffield Australia Farming Scholar, Greta, VIC); Natalie Sommerville (managing director Windjara Ag, Spalding, SA); Claire Dunn (editor and creator of Graziher magazine, Rockhampton, QLD / New Zealand); Sylvie Fulwood (farmer’s daughter, Southern Brook, WA).

“We are so proud to share these stories, as well as to be a part of such a vibrant and ambitious community of rural women,” Alicia said.

“Whether you’re two or 82 these shirts along with all our products, are created strong and stylish, just like the people who wear them.”

To read more about Antola Trading’s latest shirt ambassadors, visit Nat’s ‘shirt story’ will appear there in a couple of months so keep your eye out.