Australia’s leading rural charity, Rural Aid, has postponed its upcoming Our Towns event in Orroroo.   In consultation with the town’s leaders, Rural Aid has decided to delay the award-winning program until 2022.  Orroroo is one of ten towns chosen by Rural Aid to receive a $100,000 package to renew and revitalise their community. The award-winning Our Towns program is hallmarked by a team of incredible Rural Aid volunteers who spend a week making over a small town.    Orroroo’s Our Towns week was due to take place on the 31st of October through to the 6th of November.  

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the ongoing uncertainty of Covid-19 restrictions prompted the postponement.   “Covid-19 and its associated restrictions are still impacting our lives,” Mr Warlters said.   “Rural Aid holds peoples’ safety in the highest regard. For this reason, we’ve decided to postpone Orroroo for a few months.”  “We’re sad to have to delay our visit, but we can’t wait to finally set foot in Orroroo and start on dozens of projects,” Mr Warlters said.   An exact date for Orroroo’s Our Towns event hasn’t been determined yet, but local leaders and Rural Aid are working towards May 2022.   “It’s great to hear Orroroo residents are still toiling away at their Community Development Plan, off the back of recent workshops facilitated by Rural Aid,” Mr Warlters added.   “We know the Orroroo community is so looking forward to our arrival and the feeling is mutual! As soon as borders have reopened and restrictions eased, we’ll be making a beeline for South Australia’s mid-north,” Mr Warlters concluded.    

The award-winning Our Towns program is part of Rural Aid’s Stonger Futures initiative. Rural Aid is heavily invested in strengthening rural communities through its multi-faceted Stronger Futures program- giving locals the resources and confidence needed to help their region thrive.   For interviews or more information, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au
Australia’s leading rural charity, Rural Aid, has returned to Monto in the North Burnett for another week of community building works.
This time last year, Rural Aid staff and volunteers set up camp in Monto for the week-long “Our Towns” event.

Monto was one of 10 towns across Australia chosen for Rural Aid’s Our Towns project. In September 2020, 42 volunteers worked tirelessly on projects identified in the Community Development Plan which was created by Rural Aid and Monto’s local leaders.


This week, Rural Aid has again mustered its amazing volunteers for another week of works in Monto, thanks to support from Ergon Energy. Thirty-one volunteers lent their skills to projects at the showgrounds, the Girl Guide hut and the Historical Society.

They also revisited Monto’s incredible laneway mural to install strings of festive lights.
Monto locals Carly Baker-Burnham and Melinda Jones have been instrumental in facilitating Rural Aid’s two visits.
Carly Baker-Burnham said she feels lucky that Rural Aid have been able to return.

“A few of the volunteers have come back and it’s so lovely to see faces that were here last year. They’ve created really warm connections with the community. It’s a beautiful integration,” she said.
“We’re very lucky. It’s great to have Rural Aid back.”
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the charity has a deep connection to the bustling town.

“Monto is one of those magical small towns where all the locals are bursting with pride at their piece of paradise,” Mr Warlters said.
“It’s so rewarding for Rural Aid to revisit this passionate and determined community. It’s fantastic to see how far they’ve progressed on their projects in one year. It’s a privilege to be welcomed back with such open arms. 14 of the 31 volunteers were returnees from last year which is a fantastic effort on the volunteers’ behalf.”

The Rural Aid volunteers were in Monto from the 21st of September through to the 28th. They stayed at the Monto Showgrounds.

Australia’s leading rural charity, Rural Aid, recently deployed a team of volunteers to the Warwick region to help with ongoing natural disaster recovery.

Twenty-one volunteers have just finished working on three farms in the Upper Freestone and Swanfels area.

Two farmers had fences damaged in the terrifying bushfires that swept through the region two years ago. One farming family had fences damaged in recent floods.

Upper Freestone farmer Chris Mauch had kilometres of his fencing destroyed by fire.

“It’s unbelievable to cut a long story short. I put a brand new fence up there before the fires and it turned to ashes,” Mr Mauch said.
He said he was grateful to have a team of Rural Aid volunteers help him fence for a week.

“I’ve been on the land 50 years, all my life, and it’s hard enough to be on the land. It’s just great to get a hand to repair all those fences that are in desperate need. I’m indebted to Rural Aid.”

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the volunteers were originally slated to be in Victoria for Rural Aid’s ‘Our Towns’ event, but Covid-19 forced a change of plans.

“One of Rural Aid’s strengths is being resilient, and we’ve been able to reroute our Queensland volunteers closer to home with a visit to Warwick,” Mr Warlters said.

“It’s fantastic to see the farmers and volunteers form friendships while toiling away at tough fencing work in rugged terrain.”

“Having fences down for two years has been a burden for these farmers, so it’s great to lend them a hand to tick this job off their list. These big jobs would normally take these farmers months of effort, but together, they were able to get it done within a week.”

The volunteers stayed at the Warwick Showgrounds, thanks to a donation from the Southern Downs Council.

Mayor Vic Pennisi praised the volunteer’s efforts.
“Our region continues to recover from bushfire and floods, and Rural Aid has been a pillar of support to our rural communities throughout the journey,” Mr Pennisi said.

“At a time where negativity dominates the airwaves, Rural Aid offers a lifeline to our farmers doing it tough and these heroic gestures of kindness breathe hope into our communities.”
The Rural Aid team was in Warwick between the 5th and 12th of September.

Australia’s leading rural charity, Rural Aid, has rescheduled its Our Towns week in Lockington, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Dozens of volunteers were due to arrive in the northern Victorian town this week, to help Lockington’s Community Development Plan come to life.

Lockington is one of ten towns chosen by Rural Aid to receive $100,000 to renew and revitalise their community. The award-winning Our Towns program is hallmarked by a team of incredible Rural Aid volunteers that spend a week making over a small town.

Lockington’s Our Towns event will now take place in 2022. An exact date hasn’t been determined yet.

Lockington’s local leaders have indicated they will start pursuing some projects in the Community Development Plan before the volunteers’ arrival next year, restrictions permitting.

CEO of Rural Aid, John Warlters, said it was important to keep the Lockington community and the Rural Aid team safe at this uncertain time.

“Unfortunately, Covid-19 is still posing a significant threat to rural Victoria,” Mr Warlters said.

“We’d love nothing more than to be in Lockington next week, lending a hand and kickstarting the Community Development Plan that Rural Aid facilitated. But we’ve made the tough decision to postpone our trip until it is safe to travel again.”

“Rural Aid knows it’s a difficult time for farmers, their families and their communities,” Mr Warlters added.

“We’re encouraging anyone needing an extra hand to reach out to Rural Aid’s mental wellbeing team. Rural Aid can also provide financial assistance to farmers in need.”

Farmers are encouraged to register with Rural Aid by visiting www.ruralaid.org.au or by calling 1300 327 624.

The award-winning Our Towns program is part of Rural Aid’s Stonger Futures initiative. Rural Aid is heavily invested in strengthening rural communities through its multi-faceted Stronger Futures program- giving locals the resources and confidence needed to help their region thrive.
For interviews or more information, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au

A Lockyer Valley farming family has been given a much-needed boost thanks to 24 generous John Deere staff members and Australia’s leading rural charity, Rural Aid.

The Piggott family run an Awassi sheep cheesery at Grantham and pride themselves on their chemical free, boutique products.
Di Piggott usually relies on family members to help her wrangle the invasive lantana weed on her 160 acre property, but border closures prevented their month-long working bee this year.

“The little lambs eat the lantana but it’s toxic to them and they get really sick. So it’s really important we get it out,” Di Piggot said.

Rural Aid and agricultural machinery company John Deere teamed up for a ‘corporate volunteering’ day on the Piggott farm. 24 staff from John Deere’s Australian and New Zealand head office generously volunteered their time to lend a hand on August 20.

The volunteers made light work of the lantana, pulling out roughly 300 plants in the one day.

“I’ve had a really enjoyable day with the Rural Aid team and with my colleagues, helping out some locals on their farm,” Josh Rodgers from John Deere Australia and New Zealand said.

“It’s really rewarding and I would recommend it to anybody.”

Di Piggott said the John Deere staff put in an “absolutely brilliant” effort.
“It was just great when Rural Aid said that we had been put forward on the volunteer program,” Di said.

“We thoroughly enjoyed it and the volunteers were just the most wonderful people. We’re very appreciative,” Di said.

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said it was a fantastic outcome for all.
“Rural Aid is committed to helping Australian farmers in whatever way we can,” Mr Warlters said.

“Rural Aid has facilitated a number of corporate volunteering days by coordinating generous companies and our registered farmers. The shared skills, time and friendships are a highlight of every event.”

For more information or interviews, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757.

About Rural Aid:
Rural Aid is Australia’s leading rural charity. Rural Aid provides critical support to farmers affected by natural disaster through financial, wellbeing and fodder assistance. Rural Aid’s community programs help create more sustainable and resilient rural communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers.