Australia’s most trusted rural charity has labelled its new ‘Community Builders’ program a success after its trial in West Australia’s Wheatbelt.  

Rural Aid’s Community Builders program invited representatives from a dozen south central Wheatbelt towns for a series of leadership workshops.  

The ‘cluster muster’ workshops, run over the past five months, empowered locals to grow their towns and regions, together.  

Each town sent community members to the monthly workshops to learn about tourism opportunities, regional collaboration and marketing strategies.  

Rural Aid’s Community Programs Coordinator, Jen Curnow-Trotter said the program was a resounding success.  

“It was fantastic to see the locals forming strong bonds and learning new things- even about their neighbours- throughout the course,” Ms Curnow-Trotter said.  

“The Community Builders program has enabled these towns to identify their strengths and weaknesses, pull together a plan and begin solving their challenges with renewed confidence.” 

The workshops were held in Kulin, Dumbleyung, West Arthur and Cuballing.  

Attendee and Wagin representative Clancy White said the program was practical and insightful.  

“We’re getting a toolkit of skills on how to take some of these lessons and use them to activate our own towns,” Mr White said.  

Ms Curnow-Trotter said the program itself was a demonstration of community collaboration.  

“We are so grateful to have had amazing guest speakers attend and share their knowledge.” 

“This program would not have been possible without small town expert Peter Kenyon from the Bank of I.D.E.A.S sharing his endless insights.  

“And a big thank you to CBH Group for providing catering for our participants,” Ms Curnow-Trotter finished.  

The teams will reconvene in February to finalise their plans for 2023.  

The last Cluster Muster, and program graduation, is happening this Sunday, 27 November, in Pingelly.  

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

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 

Australia’s most trusted rural charity is hoping to raise $2.4 million dollars today, to help even more primary producers as they battle extreme natural disasters.  

Australians are being urged to ‘Give our mates a hand’ on November 23 as part of Rural Aid’s annual giving day, Mates Day.  

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said there’s no better time to help our farmers, as thousands of primary producers grapple with relentless, life-changing floods.  

“It doesn’t get any tougher than what our farmers are experiencing with these devastating, widespread floods in large parts of New South Wales and Victoria,” Mr Warlters said.  

“Right now, half the farmers registered with Rural Aid are in these flood-impacted communities. South Australian communities are bracing for the worst, as gigalitres of water move down the Murray River.”  

“Money raised on Mates Day will allow Rural Aid to help even more farmers with critical financial, counselling, and fodder support.” 

The demand for Rural Aid’s assistance has increased markedly over recent weeks, particularly from farmers seeking free counselling from Rural Aid’s team of qualified mental health professionals.  

“Rural Aid has witnessed a three-fold increase in the number of farmers seeking counselling sessions over the past three weeks,” Mr Warlters said.  

“Understandably, many of our farmers are at their limits after watching their livelihoods getting swept away,” Mr Warlters said.  

A number of generous corporate partners have joined forces with Rural Aid to match the public’s donations on Giving Day (until funds are exhausted). 

Award-winning singer Jem Cassar-Daley, daughter of country music legend Troy Cassar-Daley, has also lent her voice to Mates Day, recording a cracking new version of show-stopping ballad ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ for the Rural Aid event.  

Mr Warlters said Mates Day was an opportunity for all Aussies to throw their support behind our primary producers and help Rural Aid reach its $2.4 million fundraising target. 

“Farmers are the people we all need three times a day. We need the professionals who grow our food every breakfast, lunch and dinner. That’s our farmers and they are some of the best in the world,” Mr Warlters said. 

“Please donate if you can by visiting our website or calling 1300 327 624.” 

Rural Aid’s annual Mates Day takes place on Wednesday 23 November and donations can be made at www.ruralaid.org.au/donate

 

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

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 

Australia’s most trusted charity is offering immediate financial assistance to primary producers impacted by the recent flooding events.
Eligible, registered farmers across Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania can now apply for a $500 pre-paid visa card from Rural Aid.
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the financial assistance will help farmers make ends meet in this difficult time.  
“Many farmers are in an anxious state right now, with flood water putting livestock, crops and livelihoods at serious risk,” Mr Warlters said.
“When the flood water recedes and farmers survey the damage, the true extent of this flooding crisis will become clear.
“Rural Aid is standing with our farmers to help them work through what will be a lengthy, expensive and overwhelming recovery.
“This flood-specific financial assistance will help make the recovery that little bit easier.”
Leading agribusinesses GrainCorp and Elders have made generous donations collectively totalling $250,000 to support Rural Aid’s flood response efforts.
Mr Warlters said the donations were very welcome and meant Rural Aid would be able to assist more families in more communities.

Deniliquin farmer and Rural Aid board member, Airlie Landale said the floods have been devastating.
“It is nearly summer, yet it still feels like winter is rolling on and haunting us. It feels wrong to be speaking about too much rain, but the impact of recent floods has been devastating for so many,” Airlie said.
“Farmers have lost thousands upon thousands of hectares of crop, producers have lost livestock, fences and their homes, and rural communities and businesses have been isolated and inundated with water. It will take months – if not years – for people to recover, but I know the strength and resilience of our rural people will once again shine though.”
Mr Warlters added that the Rural Aid counselling team is ready to travel to the worst-affected communities.
“Where flood waters have safely receded, Rural Aid’s counsellors are preparing to head on-farm to offer dozens of farmgate chats, cups of tea and formal counselling sessions.
“I’d encourage any primary producer not already registered with Rural Aid to sign up today to access the full range of assistance measures on offer,” Mr Warlters finished.
Farmers can register at www.ruralaid.org.au or by calling 1300 327 624. Flood-affected farmers can apply for assistance here: https://www.ruralaid.org.au/services-provided/flood-assistance/
 
For more information or interviews, contact Rural Aid media on media@ruralaid.org.au or 0447 116 757.

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

Volunteers from Australia’s most trusted rural charity have finished a week of improvement works in the North Burnett town of Gayndah.  

Thirty-five Rural Aid volunteers spent last week sprucing up the town’s buildings, clubs and public spaces as part of the award-winning Our Towns program.  

The Our Towns program is a Rural Aid commitment to work with rural towns over a five-year period to help bring to life the vision local leaders have for their community, with the help of $100,000.  

The Rural Aid volunteers have been hard at work restoring and repairing Gayndah’s Heritage Railway, CWA Hall, showgrounds, bowls club, Historical Society and pottery club.  

The team also gave a makeover to the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail and the Binjour Bowls Club. 

Gayndah local leader Dael Giddins said the volunteers’ efforts helped lift a weight off the town.  

“The project has been amazing and has given the local volunteers a break,” Ms Giddins said.  

“Every one of these projects has been a feel-good project and there has been a real buzz.” 

 Rural Aid Farm and Community Coordinator Grant Miskimmin said it was the second time the volunteers had visited the town for a round of makeover works.  

“The volunteers have a real connection with the town,” Mr Miskimmin said.  

“Gayndah is a very special place full of amazing, community-minded residents. It’s fantastic to see it sitting a little taller and brighter after our week in town. 

“We can’t wait to see Gayndah continue to bring their Community Development Plan to life, a document that was created with small town expert Peter Kenyon from the Bank of I.D.E.A.S, at the start of the Our Towns journey. 

“And we’d also like to extend our thanks to Queensland Energy, who contributed financially to make our second visit to Gayndah possible,” Mr Miskimmin said.  

The Rural Aid volunteers arrived in town on Sunday 9 October and officially finished their week on Friday 14 October.  

 

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

  

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

Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, is helping farmers across Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania as they face devastating, widespread flooding.  

Rural Aid’s team of counsellors are conducting welfare checks on Rural Aid’s registered farmers. 

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the floods were hitting particularly hard in Victoria’s north, while in NSW and Queensland, farmers with crops nearing harvest were increasingly anxious as flood water and continuing rain caused costly downgrading. 

“It’s upsetting to hear stories of flooded homes, dead livestock, and flattened crops,” Mr Warlters said.  

“Winter crops are approaching harvest, so to see them downgraded or destroyed so close to the finish line is a devastating blow. 

“Losing livestock is truly heartbreaking for our farmers, who work so hard to keep their animals alive and healthy. 

“Months of hard work and investment has now been written off, alongside people’s homes, fences, sheds and machinery,” Mr Warlters said.   

Rural Aid has been on the front foot responding rapidly to the unfolding situation – sharing its dedicated counselling phoneline with the thousands of farmers in impacted regions and, where safe to do so, mobilising its counsellors to offer one-on-one emotional support to producers on-farm. 

Rural Aid has counsellors on the ground in Forbes, NSW and in northern Victoria. 

The entire counselling team has been phoning farmers across the flood-impacted regions.  

Registered primary producers are also being offered financial assistance as they deal with the devastating effects of the flood.  

More than 70 local government areas (LGAs) across the three states are directly affected, impacting thousands of families. 

The wellbeing team is the largest team within Rural Aid, reflecting the priority the charity places on addressing the mental health challenge confronting rural Australia.  

Rural Aid counsellors are expecting an increase in calls to its new, dedicated 1300 175 594 counselling line, as the extent of the current flooding situation becomes more apparent.  

Farmers registered with Rural Aid can access counselling support and request financial assistance and fodder for livestock.  

Producers that aren’t registered are encouraged to do so immediately via www.ruralaid.org.au or by calling 1300 327 624. 
 

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

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