Leading rural charity Rural Aid has rescheduled its Our Towns week in Walgett, due to the ongoing flooding event in the New South Wales town.  

Dozens of volunteers were due to arrive in the North West town on the 25th of April, but recent rain has hampered plans.  

The award-winning Our Towns event will now take place in Walgett between the 23rd and 29th of May 2021. 

Made possible by property investment and development company Holdmark, Walgett has been awarded $100,000 to be spent over the next five years, to renew and revitalise the town. 

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the safety of locals, volunteers and staff was the charity’s highest priority at this time. 

A Rural Aid employee surveys the Walgett flood waters

“The Rural Aid team is itching to get into Walgett and start community-building works. But we don’t want to be a burden on the region while they manage a rising river,” Mr Warlters said.  

“The weather bureau estimates the Namoi and Barwon Rivers are still at least a week away from peaking, in Walgett. Rural Aid is urging locals to stay safe and prepare their families and property.” 

Rural Aid staff currently in Walgett for the purpose of project planning have also had to put their efforts on hold, as the focus switches to disaster preparation. 

Rural Aid volunteers have been notified of the date change, however some are unable to attend in May; prompting a call for other volunteers to stick their hands up.  

“Volunteering at an Our Towns week is a rewarding and memorable experience,” Mr Warlters said.  

“Helping to transform a town, and make friends along the way, is what keeps our amazing volunteers returning time after time. I’d urge anyone who can lend a hand, to please get in touch with the Rural Aid team.” 

For more information on volunteering with Rural Aid, please contact Julia Hahn at julia.hahn@ruralaid.org.au or call 1300 327 624 during business hours. 

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.   

Please note: Since publication of this release, BPAY has generously increased its donation to Rural Aid’s flood donation appeal. BPAY has now matched donations to Rural Aid up to $25,000, up from the initial commitment of $15,000 as referenced in the below release. Thank you BPAY. This support makes a huge difference to our farmers and rural communities impacted by this tragic event.

Australia’s leading rural charity, Rural Aid, has received more than $200,000 in donations from generous Aussies, eager to help victims of the recent floods.  

A massive clean-up effort is now underway across large parts of New South Wales. Much-loved livestock are still missing, destroyed paddocks are still drying out and damaged homes are being stripped.  

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the generosity of the public has left him humbled.  

“We know Aussies dig deep to help others in a crisis. But the speed and generosity of donations made to Rural Aid’s flood appeal has been inspiring. In just one week, more than $200,000 has been donated to the Rural Aid flood recovery drive,” Mr Warlters said.  

Energy infrastructure business APA Group is the latest corporate partner to commit to helping rural Australia recover, though a $50,000 donation to Rural Aid’s appeal.  

“We are proud to support the efforts of Rural Aid to quickly mobilise relief to communities who need it most, to get them back on their feet,” APA Chief Executive and Managing Director Rob Wheals said. 

“As a proud Australian business, the recent floods have affected so many of the communities and businesses in which we work.  

“Communities that were previously grappling with drought, bushfires and the economic impacts of COVID-19 are now coming to terms with the enormous recovery efforts that will be required from major flooding.” 

BPAY has also pledged to help those on the land by matching all donations made to Rural Aid, up to $15,000. 

“Having generous corporate partners means Rural Aid can go the extra mile to help struggling farmers. We can’t thank all our donors enough. This money will make a difference to farmers’ lives,” Mr Warlters said.  

Rural Aid counsellors have started to move into the flood affected regions, to provide critical mental wellbeing support to farming families. 

In addition to counselling support, Rural Aid is offering eligible farmers a $1000 emergency payment. Farmers are also able to request hay and drinking water from the charity.  

Rural Aid’s flood donation drive was launched last Tuesday and received more than $100,000 of generously donated funds in the first 24 hours.   

Donations can be made through the Rural Aid website https://www.ruralaid.org.au/floods   

Farmers can register for assistance here https://www.ruralaid.org.au/flood-recovery-financial-assistance

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


About APA Group (APA) 

 APA is a leading Australian energy infrastructure business, owning, managing or operating a portfolio of energy assets worth around $22 billion. Its gas transmission pipelines span every state and territory on mainland Australia, delivering approximately half of the nation’s gas usage. APA has direct management and operational control over its assets and the majority of its investments. APA also holds ownership interests in a number of energy infrastructure enterprises including SEA Gas Pipeline, SEA Gas (Mortlake) Partnership, Energy Infrastructure Investments and GDI Allgas Gas Networks. APT Pipelines Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian Pipeline Trust and is the borrowing entity of APA Group. 

63 Rural Aid volunteers have waved an emotional goodbye to the New England after a huge week of historic works in Barraba. 

Barraba is one of ten regional communities selected in Rural Aid’s Our Towns program.  

In the past week, generous volunteers have worked tirelessly to spruce up Queen Street Mall, makeover the Racecourse and tidy up the Tennis Club and sports fields.  

Battling flooding rains and swollen creeks, the volunteers didn’t let the weather dampen their spirits in the slightest.  

Made possible by property investment and development company Holdmark, Barraba has been awarded $100,000 to be spent over the next five years, to renew and revitalise the town.  

Peter Kenyon from the Bank of IDEAS helped the town’s stakeholders decide on a path for Barraba’s future, now immortalised in the Community Development plan. 

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters thanked those who’ve poured a huge deal of time, effort and money into Barraba’s future.  

“Transforming a town is no small feat. Rural Aid is grateful for Holdmark’s generous partnership, which makes events like this possible. Rural Aid would also be lost without its extraordinary volunteers, who stop at nothing to make a difference,” Mr Warlters said.  

Barraba locals say it was a joy to see their town buzzing.  

“The mall has been brightened up, the street has been brightened up. There are people around!” Andy Wright from Andy’s Guesthouse in Barraba said.  

“It’s been an amazing week, I’d like to thank Rural Aid.” 

Rural Aid’s program co-ordinator Grant Miskimmin agreed it was a fantastic week.  

“Despite the weather, it was a great outcome. We lost a whole day due to the weather, but we managed to get 95% of projects done, thanks to the amazing volunteers pushing through,” Mr Miskimmin said.  

Rural Aid will continue to stay in touch with the Barraba community to help their Community Development Plan come to fruition over the next five years.  

Rural Aid staff and volunteers are already gearing up for their next Our Towns event in Walgett, kicking off on Sunday, the 25th of April, 2021. 

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

Leading rural charity Rural Aid will be able to assist dozens more flood-affected farmers, thanks to the generous support of Morgans.   

The stockbroking and wealth management company, a dedicated partner of Rural Aid, today extended its generosity even further.   

Proceeds from its recent “little dry Friday” fundraising event in support of farming families impacted by adverse weather are being deployed to assist producers at opposite ends of the climatic spectrum. 

On one hand, proceeds from Morgan’s $360,000 donation are helping families still in the grip of drought or recovering from the big dry, while on the other assisting victims of the devasting floods impacting the NSW North Coast and elsewhere. 

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said Morgans’ decision was a testament to the company’s deep connection to rural and regional Australia.  

“While the drought is still an ongoing issue for many of our farmers, there is a clear and critical need for urgent aid on flood fronts across the country,” Mr Warlters said.   

“These funds will provide a substantial boost to Rural Aid’s flood appeal and will make a real difference in farmers’ lives.”  

Rural Aid’s flood donation drive was launched on Tuesday and received more than $100,000 of generously donated funds in the first 24 hours.   

Currently, Rural Aid staff are working tirelessly to connect with flood-ravaged farmers, to determine and meet their needs. Rural Aid is offering farmers a $1000 emergency payment, mental wellbeing support, hay for livestock and drinking water where supplies have been contaminated.  

Donations can be made through the Rural Aid website https://www.ruralaid.org.au/floods 

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

Selfless donors have quickly heeded the call to help flood-affected farmers, with Rural Aid’s appeal raising more than $100,000, in less than 24 hours. 

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said he was blown away by the instant and generous response from everyday Aussies, after appealing for donations on Tuesday morning. 

“It’s really humbling to see people donating their hard-earned money to help farmers who’ve been battered by yet another natural disaster.  

“We’d like to take this chance to thank our generous supporters for their amazing contributions. Every dollar makes a difference,” Mr Warlters said.  

“I’m always amazed by how quickly and generously Aussies go about helping each other in times of need.” 

The swollen Manilla River at Barraba, Northern New South Wales. Photo taken by Rural Aid.

Rural Aid acknowledges that the full impact of the floods, and the needs of those affected, are still being realised. As the disaster unfolds, Rural Aid is offering eligible flood-affected farmers a one-off, $1000 payment. Rural Aid’s qualified counsellors are also providing free mental wellbeing support, and the charity’s disaster assistance team is also welcoming requests for hay. 

Mr Warlters said the money will make a huge difference in farmers’ lives. 

“The money raised so far could help at least 100 families get back on their feet after these devastating floods.  

“But we’d love to be able to help even more farmers. If you have a few dollars to spare, please consider donating to Rural Aid’s flood appeal,” Mr Warlters said.  

“And if you’re a farmer now facing a huge cleanup, damaged property or ruined hay supplies, please register with Rural Aid to find out what support you could be eligible for.” 

Donations can be made by visiting https://www.ruralaid.org.au/floods  

Farmers can register online at https://www.ruralaid.org.au/flood-recovery-financial-assistance  

The flood donation appeal is part of Rural Aid’s Disaster Assistance program. The program provides practical support and resources to farmers and rural communities before, during and after disasters such as drought, flood and fire. Rural Aid is working with stakeholders and agencies to provide relief measures to those affected by the ongoing flood event.  

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