Cricket Australia reps meet resilient farmers

CRICKET Australia has joined other major corporate partners to support Rural Aid’s Buy a Bale program and last Friday 15 February saw fourteen primary producers in the Coonamble district benefit from their fundraising efforts.

Four road-trains carrying a total of 269 bales of wheaten hay were delivered to a drop-point at Allan Inglis’ property ‘Burnbrae’ on the Tooraweenah Road.

In town to be part of the hay drop and meet with affected farmers and community members on behalf of Cricket Australia were Brisbane-based Brendan Wild, Senior Events Manager and Melbourne-based Jason Inglis (no relation) and Rural Aid counsellor Ruth Simmons.

“Our fundraising added trucks to Rural Aid’s existing run to Coonamble and one at Texas, Queensland yesterday,” Mr Wild said. “As well as providing hay, our aim was to raise awareness of what Rural Aid does with their farm rescues, counsellors, and other practical support.”

The mechanics of Cricket Australia’s fundraising centred around the recent Brisbane Test where Test patrons could purchase a ‘parma for a farmer’, donate to ride a mechanical bull, or just put their coins in a tin.

“We also had on-field interviews with farmers who came down for the cricket,” Mr Wild said. “It was similar to the Pink Test fundraising for breast cancer nurses but on a smaller scale.”

“The team all donated their playing shirts and signed an Akubra hat for auction,” he said. “Unfortunately it was such a short Test Match it cut down our fundraising.”

Both men say they have learned a lot from their trip.

While overnighting in Coonamble, the Cricket Australia representatives caught up with Junior Cricket volunteers Michael Wilson and Rodger Nalder.

They also spent several hours at ‘Burnbrae’ on Friday to meet and talk to the primary producers as they collected their allotted bales.

“What we’ve contributed is just a drop in the ocean of what is needed,” Mr Wild said.

“We’ve really enjoyed meeting everyone,” Mr Inglis said. “We are amazed at how resilient people are and how everyone just supports each other.”

The hay, which was sourced from South Australia, was unloaded and reloaded by Allan Inglis, Jason Hogland and Michael McKeown.

A sausage sizzle lunch was organised by Brian Ditchfield and Peter Cormie.

Source: Coonamble Times