Farmers in the Hawkesbury and Nepean regions are being offered financial and counselling assistance in the wake of the recent flooding crisis. 

Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, is providing a new round of financial assistance for farming families in the impacted local government areas. 

Flood-affected primary producers are now able to apply for a $400 pre-paid Visa card.  Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the latest assistance follows the distribution of $1 million to flooded farmers earlier this year.

“Our growers and graziers have endured up to four floods in 15 months,” Mr Warlters said. 

“They are demoralized and heartbroken. Rural Aid is making life a little easier as they wrap their heads around another huge recovery.” 

Farmers, their families and employees, are also able to access Rural Aid’s free counselling service. 

“These extreme weather events have really knocked the wind from our farmers’ sails. Morale and motivation are understandably low,” Mr Warlters said.  

“Rural Aid’s counselling team will travel to the region once it’s safe to do so, in order to provide a listening ear. Our counsellors are embedded in these communities and will continue to support their farmers in the long months ahead,” Mr Warlters finished.  

Primary producers are being encouraged to register with Rural Aid here: https://faa.ruralaid.org.au/   Donations to Rural Aid can be made here:  https://www.ruralaid.org.au/donate 

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. 
 
Australia’s most trusted rural charity has congratulated the twelve winners of its Spirit of the Bush photography competition.  
More than 1100 photographic entries were received from farms right across the country, a record for the Spirt of the Bush competition.  
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said it was heartening to see so many quality captures.  
“The Spirit of the Bush competition attracts photos from every corner of the country and reflects every part of life on the land,” Mr Warlters said.  
“It’s mesmerizing to see the highs and lows of farm life reflected in action shots, sweeping horizons and moments of quiet reflection. 
“It’s great to see a theme of hope emerge from our images this year. The winning photos tell a story of both work and play. Events like harvest and planting are featured, as well as moments of rest, relaxation, and recreation. 
“It’s fantastic to see so many jaw-dropping entries from West Australia in particular. Queensland and New South Wales’ snappers also feature heavily in the winner’s circle. 
“A huge congratulations to our talented winners who will now have their photos used in Rural Aid’s 2023 calendar,” Mr Warlters said.  
The winners of the 2022 Spirit of the Bush competition are: 

 

Mr Warlters also reflected on the huge jump in entries from last year. 
“It gets harder to pick the winners every year!” Mr Warlters said.  
“Last year, Rural Aid received 720 entries. This year, more than 1100 were submitted!” 
The Rural Aid 2023 calendar will be available for purchase and pre-order later this year. Supporters are encouraged to keep an eye on the Rural Aid social media pages for more information.  
Proceeds will directly support Rural Aid’s range of programs to help farmers and their families.  
 
*This photo was taken in Warwick, Qld 
^This photo was taken in Scaddan, WA 
 
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 competition’s terms and conditions can be found here: https://www.ruralaid.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/SOTB2022-TCs.pdf  
 
For more information or interviews, contact Rural Aid media on media@ruralaid.org.au or 0447 116 757. 

Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, has received more than $1million dollars in flood funding from generous donors and corporate supporters.  

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the charity has distributed the funds to primary producers in a quick, efficient manner. 
“In the past three months, Rural Aid has distributed the vast majority of its donated flood funds to our flood-affected farmers,” Mr Warlters said.  

“This has enabled our farmers to take another step towards their recovery goals, while many wait for government assistance to hit their accounts.”  “At least 500 payments have been made to Rural Aid’s farmers in New South Wales and Queensland since the flood crisis, thanks to the outstanding level of donations from the public, and the backing and generosity of our many corporate supporters,” Mr Warlters said.

Mooball fruit grower Peter Brils said financial assistance was the most effective way for him to start his flood recovery process.   The Tweed Shire farmer lost a portion of his fruit and trees in the recent flood events.   “The rain impacts our harvest really intensely. We lost a lot of crop, there is devastation,” Mr Brils said.   He is now working to change the destructive way water flows across his property.   “I’m happy with financial help so I can get things done. I don’t have bobcats, I don’t have machinery. In my case, I need machinery and that costs money.”  Mr Warlters said the charity will continue to support flood-affected farmers as they take on long-term projects.  

“Rural Aid offers our registered farmers a range of assistance measures; from free counselling, to fodder drops and water deliveries,” Mr Warlters said.   “Rural Aid is also proud to be supporting our farmers with additional assistance from Multikraft Probiotic Solutions. More than 30 producers have received aerial applications of their MicroBalance solution that turns rotting flood waste into a healthy by-product.  “Thanks to Rural Aid’s unwavering supporters, we can continue to help our farmers into the future,” Mr Warlters finished.    

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.  

A Northern Tablelands cattle farmer is the 100th primary producer in Australia to receive a free tank and a truck load of water as part of a Rural Aid and Finish initiative.
Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, has distributed 100 x 22,500 litre water tanks to drought-affected farmers over the past six months.
The tanks have been delivered to farmers in low rainfall areas to improve their water security.
During the drought, farmer Bronwyn Sargeant and her family frequently ran out of water. Bronwyn described the past few years as “horrendous”.
Bronwyn recently welcomed a “life-changing” new tank onto the family property.  
“A huge thank you to Rural Aid and Finish for providing the tank. It’s a wonderful initiative and is such a support for farmers who’ve been through so much.”
Rural Aid’s Counsellor and Community Representative on the Northern Tablelands, Heidi Gray, said the impacts of the drought are still being felt in the community.

“Recovering from a drought takes years. Memories of empty tanks are still very raw in farmers’ minds,” Ms Gray said.
“Having a new tank that’s full of water makes a huge difference to a farmer’s mindset. Being able to capture more rainfall when the next drought does arrive is an invaluable gift.
“It’s just one less thing for them to worry about. It might give them an extra 10 minutes sleep at night, which might make all the difference for them the next day.”
Since 2019, Finish has donated more than 14 million litres of water to drought-affected Australians through its #FinishWaterWaste initiative.
Saurabh Jain, Reckitt Benckiser’s Marketing Director, said it feels “fantastic” to reach the 100th tank milestone.
“We’re really proud to support the delivery of 100 water tanks to farmers across Australia,” Mr Jain said.
“This brings invaluable peace of mind to farmers and their families. That is priceless.”
To register with Rural Aid, visit www.ruralaid.org.au  or call 1300 327 624.

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 for interviews, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757.

Rural Aid’s “Our Towns” makeover week has begun in Lockington, with dozens of volunteers starting work on the town’s nominated projects.   Lockington is one of 10 towns across Australia chosen to receive $100,000 to help deliver a range of community-building projects.   


Small town expert Peter Kenyon from the Bank of IDEAS worked with Lockington’s local leaders and Rural Aid staff to create a Community Development Plan to guide the town’s priorities and projects.  
43 Rural Aid volunteers are now helping to deliver the plan by completing a number of dedicated projects.  
The Rural Aid team is this week working on Lockington’s bowls club, Senior Citizens Hall, tennis club, rail trail, heritage centre, boardwalk and pony club.  
Lockington local and Our Town coordinator Wendy Sims said the town was buzzing.  
“It’s wonderful for the Lockington community to see this project arrive,” she said.   “It’s so satisfying to know that other people have belief in us and see us as important.” 
Rural Aid works coordinator Grant Miskimmin said the team has been welcomed with open arms by the Lockington community.  
“It’s a pleasure to help the Lockington community with this project,” Grant said.  
“We’re honoured to be able to give some treasured local assets a real boost over the next week and help support the people of Lockington, our mates in the bush.” 
Locals are encouraged to say hello to Rural Aid’s friendly team around town this week.   The Rural Aid convoy arrived in Lockington on 15 May and will leave on 21st May.  
 
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.