A dozen Northern Rivers farmers have collected more than 30 tonnes of hay, in a boost to their flood recovery efforts.  

More than 120 bales of hay were today distributed to Northern Rivers farmers at the Buckendoon event.  

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the hay drop gave farmers more than just stock feed.  

“Our hay drops are a chance for farmers to take a break off their place, have a cuppa and catch up with their mates,” Mr Warlters said. 

“Recovering from floods is a long, tough and sometimes lonely road. Rural Aid is proud to stand with farmers as they navigate their recovery.” 

Lismore region farmer Jason Rhodes said this year is the wettest he’s ever seen on his property.  

“We just had another weekend of rain, so it’s miserable,” Mr Rhodes said. 

“It’s so waterlogged that water has just got nowhere to go.” 

The Braham cattle breeder described Rural Aid’s assistance as a ‘godsend’.  

“We’ve never had to feed our cattle hay before this, so that’s saying something,” Mr Rhodes said.  

Also in attendance at today’s hay drop was Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Regional New South Wales, Mick Veitch.  

“I am grateful that Mr Veitch was able to spend the day listening to our farmers who’ve been on the front-line of these floods,” Mr Warlters said.  

“We know how important it is for farmers to have their stories listened to first-hand, and for politicians to understand that recovery takes time and is not one-paced.”  

In addition to hay drops, Rural Aid has also been assisting farmers in the Northern Rivers region with pre-paid visa cards, water tanks, water deliveries and free counselling. 

Primary producers are encouraged to reach out to Rural Aid for assistance.  

Farmers can register at www.ruralaid.org.au.  

About Rural Aid

Rural Aid is Australia’s most trusted rural charity. We stand with our farmers when they need us most. 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 communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers. Find out more at www.ruralaid.org.au

For more information or interviews, contact Rural Aid media on media@ruralaid.org.au or 0447 116 757.

The central west town of Coolah has undergone a significant facelift thanks to Australia’s most trusted rural charity.

Forty-three Rural Aid volunteers have transformed dozens of Coolah’s facilities as part of Coolah’s Our Towns week.

Coolah is one of 10 towns chosen to receive $100,000 from Rural Aid to help deliver a range of community-enhancing projects.

Coolah local leader Sally Edwards thanked the Rural Aid team and said the visit will provide a vital boost to the town’s economy.

“If the town’s a bit more attractive when tourists drive in then maybe they’ll stay and explore and find out what we love so much about our town.”

The volunteers helped to transform the town’s tennis club, showgrounds, swimming club and main street.

Coolah’s Our Towns week was made possible due to property investment and development company Holdmark.

“After a tough few years in Coolah battling fires, drought, floods and the pandemic, it has been fantastic to be able to play a meaningful role in enhancing this beautiful community,” Holdmark CEO Sarkis Nassif said.

“From freshly painted halls to upgraded fencing, we’re proud to support the amazing work of the Rural Aid team. Thank you to the many volunteers who have transformed the town.”

Rural Aid’s Farm and Community Coordinator, Grant Miskimmin, thanked the town for their outstanding hospitality.

“Rural Aid has had an incredible week in the special town of Coolah, we’ve really been embraced by the community,” Mr Miskimmin said.

“It’s been our pleasure to work on projects that we first outlined years ago with Peter Kenyon, as part of Coolah’s Community Development plan.”

“After postponing our volunteer week twice thanks to Covid-19, it’s been a real thrill to finally visit Coolah and complete these important projects,” Mr Miskimmin said.

The award-winning Our Towns program is part of Rural Aid’s Stronger 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.

About Rural Aid 

Rural Aid is Australia’s most trusted rural charity. We stand with our farmers when they need us most. 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 communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers. Find out more at www.ruralaid.org.au 

For interviews or more information, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or media@ruralaid.org.au

Australia’s most trusted rural charity is just days away from kicking off its “Our Towns” makeover week in Coolah.  

More than 50 Rural Aid volunteers will arrive in the central west New South Wales town next week.   Coolah is one of 10 towns chosen to receive $100,000 from Rural Aid to help deliver a range of community-enhancing projects. 

The Rural Aid volunteer team will work on a number of improvement projects while in town, including the Coolah tennis club, recreational showgrounds and swimming club. 

The projects were identified in workshops run by Bank of I.D.E.A.S’ Peter Kenyon, who helped Coolah’s leaders outline the town’s strategy for growth by creating a unique Community Development Plan.

Rural Aid’s Farm and Community Coordinator, Grant Miskimmin, said the week will be full of hard work and community spirit.  

“After two pandemic postponements, it’s looking like the third time will be the charm for Coolah’s Our Towns week! Rural Aid is so excited to visit Coolah that we’ve planned for a few special celebrations too,” Mr Miskimmin said.  

“The Our Towns week is kicking off with a free town concert, put on by the Australian Army Band.” 

“We’d love to see Coolah residents come together for a concert on Saturday, 3 September at the Coolah Central School. 

“We’d be honoured to be welcomed to town by the locals, and can’t wait to meet you all,” Mr Miskimmin said.  

Coolah’s Our Towns week has been made possible by property investment and development company Holdmark. 

Holdmark CEO Sarkis Nassif said the company looks forward to assisting Rural Aid provide critical support to the Coolah community.  

“From fires to drought and the recent floods as well as the ongoing pandemic, the people of Coolah have been through some difficult years,” Mr Nassif said.  

“It is my hope that through our support of Rural Aid, we can help empower the community to build a better future.”  
Coolah locals are encouraged to say hello to Rural Aid’s volunteers, who’ll be working in town and on farms, from 3 September until 10 September.  

The volunteers are staying at the showgrounds.   Locals are also urged to attend the free Australian Army Band concert on Saturday, 3 September.  
The school is putting on a sausage sizzle before the concert kicks off at 7pm.  For more details on the concert, or to RSVP, contact Coolah Central School on (02) 6377 1101 

About Rural Aid

Rural Aid is Australia’s most trusted rural charity. We stand with our farmers when they need us most. 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 communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers. Find out more at www.ruralaid.org.au The award-winning Our Towns program is part of Rural Aid’s Stronger 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 small central Queensland state school now has a secure drinking water supply, after six years of dry taps and plastic bottles.
 
Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, has facilitated the installation of a SOURCE Hydropanel array at Valkyrie State School and believes that this technology could help facilitate drinking water security for other struggling schools.
 
SOURCE Hydropanels utilise advanced materials and renewable energy to create high-quality drinking water using only air and sunlight.
 
Rural Aid delivered more than 10 million litres of drinking water to farming families during the drought. The Valkyrie Hydropanel installation is Rural Aid’s third water-delivery project at a Queensland school.
 
Valkyrie P&C President Kristen Michelmore said the Hydropanels have given the community a huge amount of peace of mind since their installation late last month.
 
Ms Michelmore said prior to the Hydropanels’ installation, students had taken it upon themselves to monitor how much water they drank during the day.
 
“School needs to be a safe place where kids can learn and not have to worry about turning on a tap,” Ms Michelmore said.
 
“Regional school children should be treated the same as those in the cities and provided the same basic services. Through my work with the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association it is clear this is not just a problem for Valkyrie – many other schools across regional and remote Australia have issues with drinking water quality and access, so it would be great to see more projects like this supported by the Government and Education Department.”
 
“A huge thanks to Rural Aid, Stanmore Resources, the Central Queensland Mining Rehabilitation Group and SOURCE for providing potable water to our school.”
 
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the technology will better the students’ quality of life. 

“Droughts are difficult for kids to process, so to not have safe drinking water at school, on top of dry taps at home, is an appalling situation,” Mr Warlters said.
 
“Rural Aid acted quickly to offer the Valkyrie school community a sustainable and drought-proof alternative to trucked-in water. We’re hoping that this installation will serve as the benchmark for providing water across more schools in Queensland that face issues of scarcity and contamination.”

“Rural Aid is proud to have provided a solution to this rural community’s drinking water woes,” Mr Warlters said.
 
SOURCE Global’s Director of Market Development, Alex Polson, said that the innovative technology will shore up supplies and provide much needed resilience for students, parents, and teachers within the Valkyrie community. 
 
“No parent or teacher should have to worry about where they’re going to get drinking water from for their children and students, so we’re glad that SOURCE Hydropanels can ensure a consistent, drought-proof supply of water here in Valkyrie” he said.
 
Rural Aid, SOURCE Global, the Central Queensland Mining Rehabilitation Group and Stanmore Resources have covered the majority of the panels’ costs with some local funding also helping to finalise the project.
 
With the school previously reliant on plastic bottled water and donations, SOURCE also highlighted the environmental benefit of the Hydropanels, with the Hydropanel array able to offset more than 800,000 plastic bottles over its 15-year lifetime. 
 
“The use of decentralised, renewable technologies like SOURCE Hydropanels give regional and remote parts of Australia the ability to become healthier and more climate resilient, while avoiding the cost, waste, and inconvenience of single use plastic bottles,” Mr Polson said. 
 
 
For more information or interviews, contact Rural Aid media on media@ruralaid.org.au or 0447 116 757; or to find out more information about SOURCE Hydropanels please contact, Alex Polson on alex.polson@source.co or 0405 367 020
 
 
About Rural Aid
Rural Aid is Australia’s most trusted rural charity. We stand with our farmers when they need us most. 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 communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers. Find out more at www.ruralaid.org.au
 
About SOURCE  
A Public Benefit Corporation, SOURCE Global, PBC’s mission is to make drinking water an unlimited resource. The company’s SOURCE® Hydropanels create drinking water using sunlight and air as the only inputs, and can put the power of safe, sustainable drinking water in the hands of every person in nearly every climate and corner of the world. SOURCE is on Fast Company’s 2020 list of most innovative social good companies. The company is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, and operates in 48 countries and on six continents. SOURCE is a registered trademark of SOURCE Global, PBC. For more information, visit www.source.co and follow us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter and Instagram
 

 
Background
Valkyrie State School, southwest of Mackay, completely ran out of water in June 2021. Students and staff had to rely on store-brought plastic bottled water, with a high economic and environmental cost.
The school unfortunately missed out on funding from the QLD 2021 State Budget to access alternative supplies of water, and the Queensland Government even blocked their ability to accept charitable donations of bottled water.
Through a coalition of supporters, including Rural Aid, technology partner SOURCE Global, mining company Stanmore Resources, and the Central Queensland Mining Rehabilitation Group, the school was able to install 15 Hydropanels which supply a drought resilient drinking water supply, independent of any infrastructure.
SOURCE has also collaborated with the Department of Education in NSW to supply drinking water to ten remote and regional schools, which has been well received by students and teachers alike. Through collaborations with Patty Mills they have also been able to support remote Indigenous schools including Cunnamulla in Queensland, and Oodnadatta in South Australia.
They were also able to supply water during the March Queensland/New South Wales floods, transporting water from their 600-panel water farm in Queensland to a school in Lismore that was serving as an evacuation point. As a result of the floods drinking water in the area became contaminated and undrinkable.
Other schools in Queensland have also experienced supply challenges or run out of water completely, including Tamborine Mountain State School which ran dry in 2019. Clarke Creek State School also relies on a nearby creek for non-potable water, while Mistake Creek State School, and Woodstock State School both rely on bore water [comments RE schools via Burdekin MP Dale Last in ABC News article].
 
Article References: ABC Tropical North: Valkyrie State School trucks in water, bans students from playing on hard, unsafe oval ABC Tropical North: Valkyrie State School parents, students getting more frustrated as water crisis continues CQ News/Courier Mail: Govt bans ‘school with no water’ from accepting help CQ News/Courier Mail: Valkyrie State School water crisis continues after missing out on funding CQ News/Courier Mail: Education Minister Weighs in on Valkyrie State School CQ News/Courier Mail: Valkyrie State School water crisis continues with further delay The Guardian: Queensland school [Mt Tamborine] runs out of water as commercial bottlers harvest local supply  
 
​Rural Aid secures drinking water for students after Valkyrie State School ran dry
A small central Queensland state school now has a secure drinking water supply, after six years of dry taps and plastic bottles.
 
Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, has facilitated the installation of a SOURCE Hydropanel array at Valkyrie State School and believes that this technology could help facilitate drinking water security for other struggling schools.
 
SOURCE Hydropanels utilise advanced materials and renewable energy to create high-quality drinking water using only air and sunlight.
 
Rural Aid delivered more than 10 million litres of drinking water to farming families during the drought. The Valkyrie Hydropanel installation is Rural Aid’s third water-delivery project at a Queensland school.
 
Valkyrie P&C President Kristen Michelmore said the Hydropanels have given the community a huge amount of peace of mind since their installation late last month.
 
Ms Michelmore said prior to the Hydropanels’ installation, students had taken it upon themselves to monitor how much water they drank during the day.
 
“School needs to be a safe place where kids can learn and not have to worry about turning on a tap,” Ms Michelmore said.
 
“Regional school children should be treated the same as those in the cities and provided the same basic services. Through my work with the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association it is clear this is not just a problem for Valkyrie – many other schools across regional and remote Australia have issues with drinking water quality and access, so it would be great to see more projects like this supported by the Government and Education Department.”
 
“A huge thanks to Rural Aid, Stanmore Resources, the Central Queensland Mining Rehabilitation Group and SOURCE for providing potable water to our school.”
 
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the technology will better the students’ quality of life. 

“Droughts are difficult for kids to process, so to not have safe drinking water at school, on top of dry taps at home, is an appalling situation,” Mr Warlters said.
 
“Rural Aid acted quickly to offer the Valkyrie school community a sustainable and drought-proof alternative to trucked-in water. We’re hoping that this installation will serve as the benchmark for providing water across more schools in Queensland that face issues of scarcity and contamination.”

“Rural Aid is proud to have provided a solution to this rural community’s drinking water woes,” Mr Warlters said.
 
SOURCE Global’s Director of Market Development, Alex Polson, said that the innovative technology will shore up supplies and provide much needed resilience for students, parents, and teachers within the Valkyrie community. 
 
“No parent or teacher should have to worry about where they’re going to get drinking water from for their children and students, so we’re glad that SOURCE Hydropanels can ensure a consistent, drought-proof supply of water here in Valkyrie” he said.
 
Rural Aid, SOURCE Global, the Central Queensland Mining Rehabilitation Group and Stanmore Resources have covered the majority of the panels’ costs with some local funding also helping to finalise the project.
 
With the school previously reliant on plastic bottled water and donations, SOURCE also highlighted the environmental benefit of the Hydropanels, with the Hydropanel array able to offset more than 800,000 plastic bottles over its 15-year lifetime. 
 
“The use of decentralised, renewable technologies like SOURCE Hydropanels give regional and remote parts of Australia the ability to become healthier and more climate resilient, while avoiding the cost, waste, and inconvenience of single use plastic bottles,” Mr Polson said. 
 
 
For more information or interviews, contact Rural Aid media on media@ruralaid.org.au or 0447 116 757; or to find out more information about SOURCE Hydropanels please contact, Alex Polson on alex.polson@source.co or 0405 367 020
 
 
About Rural Aid
Rural Aid is Australia’s most trusted rural charity. We stand with our farmers when they need us most. 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 communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers. Find out more at www.ruralaid.org.au
 
About SOURCE  
A Public Benefit Corporation, SOURCE Global, PBC’s mission is to make drinking water an unlimited resource. The company’s SOURCE® Hydropanels create drinking water using sunlight and air as the only inputs, and can put the power of safe, sustainable drinking water in the hands of every person in nearly every climate and corner of the world. SOURCE is on Fast Company’s 2020 list of most innovative social good companies. The company is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, and operates in 48 countries and on six continents. SOURCE is a registered trademark of SOURCE Global, PBC. For more information, visit www.source.co and follow us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter and Instagram
 

 
Background
Valkyrie State School, southwest of Mackay, completely ran out of water in June 2021. Students and staff had to rely on store-brought plastic bottled water, with a high economic and environmental cost.
The school unfortunately missed out on funding from the QLD 2021 State Budget to access alternative supplies of water, and the Queensland Government even blocked their ability to accept charitable donations of bottled water.
Through a coalition of supporters, including Rural Aid, technology partner SOURCE Global, mining company Stanmore Resources, and the Central Queensland Mining Rehabilitation Group, the school was able to install 15 Hydropanels which supply a drought resilient drinking water supply, independent of any infrastructure.
SOURCE has also collaborated with the Department of Education in NSW to supply drinking water to ten remote and regional schools, which has been well received by students and teachers alike. Through collaborations with Patty Mills they have also been able to support remote Indigenous schools including Cunnamulla in Queensland, and Oodnadatta in South Australia.
They were also able to supply water during the March Queensland/New South Wales floods, transporting water from their 600-panel water farm in Queensland to a school in Lismore that was serving as an evacuation point. As a result of the floods drinking water in the area became contaminated and undrinkable.
Other schools in Queensland have also experienced supply challenges or run out of water completely, including Tamborine Mountain State School which ran dry in 2019. Clarke Creek State School also relies on a nearby creek for non-potable water, while Mistake Creek State School, and Woodstock State School both rely on bore water [comments RE schools via Burdekin MP Dale Last in ABC News article].
 
Article References: ABC Tropical North: Valkyrie State School trucks in water, bans students from playing on hard, unsafe oval ABC Tropical North: Valkyrie State School parents, students getting more frustrated as water crisis continues CQ News/Courier Mail: Govt bans ‘school with no water’ from accepting help CQ News/Courier Mail: Valkyrie State School water crisis continues after missing out on funding CQ News/Courier Mail: Education Minister Weighs in on Valkyrie State School CQ News/Courier Mail: Valkyrie State School water crisis continues with further delay The Guardian: Queensland school [Mt Tamborine] runs out of water as commercial bottlers harvest local supply  
 
Australia’s littlest livestock, its precious European honey bees, are under siege from the hive-destroying Varroa mite. 
The parasite was first detected in hives at the Port of Newcastle but has quickly spread to multiple locations across New South Wales.  
Rural Aid, the nation’s most trusted rural charity, is today launching a fundraising campaign in support of our impacted beekeepers. The Buy a Bee campaign has the unequivocal support of the industry’s peak body; the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC). 
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the situation is volatile and distressing for beekeepers across the country.  
“Beekeepers are in an awful state right now as they anxiously wait for news on how far the Varroa destructor mite has spread,” Mr Warlters said.   
Rural Aid is offering beekeepers and their families free counselling through its nation-wide team of qualified counsellors. 
“The DPI has identified mental health strain as the biggest issue currently facing these primary producers. Rural Aid is proud to be able to offer beekeepers immediate assistance in this area,” Mr Warlters said. 
Australian Honey Bee Industry Council chairman Stephen Targett said, “The contribution of honey bees to agriculture in Australia through pollination services is estimated at up to $20 billion, and the start of the pollination season is just weeks away, which demonstrates what an enormous threat this crisis poses to our industry. 
“Without urgent support, some of our beekeepers will struggle to survive financially. We are calling on the public to back our beekeepers now, not just for their sake, but for the sake of Australia’s entire agricultural and food production industries.” 
Rural Aid is also supporting its affected beekeepers with financial assistance in the form of $500 pre-paid Visa cards.  
“The public is encouraged to show their support for Australia’s littlest livestock by donating to Rural Aid’s Buy a Bee initiative,” Mr Warlters said.  
“Rural Aid has been supporting beekeepers for years, through its HiveAid program, created during the Black Summer bushfires in partnership with AHBIC and Hive + Wellness, the nation’s largest honey packer, best known for its Capilano branded honey. The new Buy a Bee campaign, under the HiveAid umbrella, will assist these same beekeepers as they take on the Varroa mite. 
“We thank every Australian who will dig deep to support our beekeepers in their moment of need,” Mr Warlters finished.  
Donations can be made here: https://www.ruralaid.org.au/hiveaid/  
Beekeepers who aren’t already registered with Rural Aid are encouraged to do so now using this link: https://faa.ruralaid.org.au/  
 
About Rural Aid 
Rural Aid is Australia’s most trusted rural charity. We stand with our farmers when they need us most. 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 communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers. Find out more at www.ruralaid.org.au 
 
For more information or interviews, contact Rural Aid media on media@ruralaid.org.au or 0447 116 757.