Supporters of Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, have made the organisation’s inaugural Long Lunch event a resounding success.
Held in Brisbane last Friday, the Rural Aid Long Lunch was attended by some of the biggest names in the agribusiness and farming industries. 
The April 8 Long Lunch included a charity auction, performance by Lee Kernaghan, and guest speaker appearances from Laura Geitz, Shane Webcke and Tony Gollan.
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said it was humbling to see the extraordinary generosity on display.
“I’ve been overwhelmed to witness the passion that local businesses, both big and small, have for our growers and graziers,” Mr Warlters said.
“The funds raised today will make a real difference to our farmer’s lives as they continue their drought, flood and bushfire recovery.”
“Our ongoing priority is to ensure Rural Aid can fund the placement of more counsellors into more communities to support more farming families,” Mr Warlters finished.
Rural Aid’s expanding mental health program was the focus of the lunch. Guests heard from Rural Aid counsellors about the importance of Rural Aid’s complimentary ‘farm-gate’ counselling program.
“Rural Aid’s counselling service is so vital,” Manager of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lauren Stracey, said.
“Our farmers have bravely fought through disaster after disaster, but many are now feeling totally numb or completely swamped.
“We offer free, confidential counselling to our farmers wherever they are most comfortable. We travel hundreds of kilometres to chat to farmers at their kitchen table or over the back fence. This culturally-appropriate, flexible service is so important to ensure our farmers are not slipping through the cracks,” Ms Stracey explained.
Rural Aid now employs 16 counsellors, based in rural and regional towns across Australia and is looking to grow this number with support from the Australian public.  

LINK to photo gallery can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tnlsrq8qgoxfqoh/AACUfqlX1Vp74xdxLehQJMqLa?dl=0
 
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






 

The Northern Tablelands celebrated its achievements at the inaugural Inverell Connection Day on Saturday. 
Hundreds of people turned out to the hugely popular Campbell St Park event.  
Jointly organised by Rural Aid, Pathfinders and the Inverell Community Collaborative, the Connection Day was a chance for locals to reconnect after recent hardship.  
Rural Aid’s counsellor and community representative for the Northern Tablelands, Heidi Gray, said it’s been a testing few years for the region. 
“Our community has been so brave through the horrific drought and the grueling pandemic,” Ms Gray said.  
“We had to stay isolated and busy to get through. But we haven’t really had a chance since to get together and reflect on how far we’ve come.  
“The value of social connection cannot be underestimated. It was wonderful to see locals laughing, chatting and even singing and dancing this weekend at the Connection Day.” 
Dozens of community clubs, service providers and businesses attended the Connection Day, signing up locals and making valuable referrals.  
Ms Gray labelled the day a success and said the Community Collaborative has already started to look at holding the event again next year.  
“It was fantastic to see our town embrace this new day so wholeheartedly, we were blown away by how many people attended. Thank you to every stallholder and every attendee for showing up and being a part of the community,” Ms Gray said. 
“And a huge thanks to Essential Energy for coming on board as a major sponsor. We’re also extremely grateful for the NSW Government, Healthwise and Boss Engineering for additional funding that supported the day,” Ms Gray 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 
 
Vision and pictures from the Inverell Connection Day can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/udtfq4cc0edmopn/AACe_XbfzTT0cd6xQdG5zlmCa?dl=0  
 
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 started its “Our Towns” makeover week in Orroroo. 
Orroroo is one of 10 towns across Australia chosen to receive $100,000 to help deliver a range of community-building projects.  
Thirty-five Rural Aid volunteers from across the nation will stay in Orroroo for the next week as they help revitalise the small town.  
In accordance with the new Community Development Plan, the Rural Aid crew will this week work on fencing the Historical Society, sprucing up the town’s buggy display and building a ramp at the golf course.   
Peter Kenyon from the Bank of IDEAS helped the Orroroo community decide which projects were most important to the South Australian town, now captured in the town’s Community Development Plan.   
Locals are encouraged to say hello to Rural Aid’s friendly team around town this week. 
Rural Aid’s Community Programs Coordinator, Jen Curnow-Trotter, said the team is overjoyed to be in Orroroo.  
“We are so thrilled to be able to spend a week in beautiful Orroroo,” Ms Curnow-Trotter said.  
“It’s a proud town with a rich history that we are honoured to play a role in uplifting.” 
“A huge bonus of the Our Towns week is the energy and enthusiasm that buzzes around the district; the excitement is palpable,” Ms Curnow-Trotter said.  
“It’s going to be a great week, and we’re so excited to get stuck in.” 
The Rural Aid convoy arrived in Orroroo on Sunday the 3rd of April and will depart on the 9th of April.  
 
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.  
Rural Aid’s hugely popular Spirit of the Bush photography competition has returned in 2022.  
More than 250 entries have already been received in the first week of the competition.  
Rural Aid CEO, John Warlters, said it’s encouraging to see how eager Australians are to tell the stories of the bush through photography.  
“Now in its third year, our Spirit of the Bush competition just keeps growing,” Mr Warlters said.  
“The competition’s popularity is a testament to how much our nation supports our primary producers.  
“We’re so excited to again choose a set of 12 ripper photographs for use in Rural Aid’s 2023 calendar.” Mr Warlters said.  
A Rural Aid panel will be tasked with the difficult job of choosing the most striking photos, when the competition closes in May.   
“We saw some breathtaking entries last year,” Mr Warlters said.  
“Incredible photographs of mustering, fencing, kids playing and rural landscapes were just some of the images that made this year’s calendar. 
“Looking at country life through a camera lens is one of the best ways to give the wider public a glimpse into life on the land.  
“I encourage anyone with a camera and a love for the bush to send their entries in,” Mr Warlters finished.  
Entries are encouraged via social media and through Rural Aid’s website. 
In addition to having their photos used in Rural Aid’s annual calendar, winners will also receive a $250 pre-paid visa card.  
Entries can be made here: www.ruralaid.org.au/spirit-of-the-bush or by tagging #SOTB2022 in your Instagram or Facebook caption. 2022 entries can also be viewed via the website.
Terms and conditions can be found here: https://www.ruralaid.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/SOTB2022-TCs.pdf  
 
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. 
Northern Rivers farmers are being encouraged to attend a flood recovery BBQ this Friday night at Clovass.
Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, is helping organise the Community Flood Recovery and Information Night.
The event will be held at the Clovass McKees Hill Hall, between Casino and Lismore. The Hall’s committee and the Tomki Rural Fire Brigade are also organising partners.
Rural Aid Counsellor and Community Representative, Heidi Gray, said the event will be a good chance for locals to debrief after the floods.
“It’s been an extremely challenging time for a lot of locals,” Ms Gray said.
“The Flood Recovery Night is a chance for the community to reunite and commiserate. Catching up with neighbours is an important step on the recovery journey.  
“There’ll also be a number of service providers attending on Friday night. This will be a great chance for locals to get up to date on the assistance available to them, whether that be financial, fodder, volunteer or counselling.”
The attending service providers are:
  • Rural Aid
  • Resilience NSW
  • National Recovery and Resilience Agency
  • Service NSW
  • BlazeAid
  • Rural Financial Counsellors
  • Red Cross
  • And mental health clinicians from the local health district.
“We’re also putting on a free BBQ so locals can share a meal and a yarn with their mates,” Ms Gray said.
“Local musician Katie Botfield will also perform a few songs on the night,” Ms Gray finished.
The Recovery and Information Night starts from 5pm at the Clovass McKees Hill Hall, corner of Bruxner Highway and Fig Tree Lane, on Friday the 18th of March.
RSVPs are welcomed for catering purposes. RSVP to Heidi Gray at Heidi.gray@ruralaid.org.au or 0476 685 834.
Primary producers are being encouraged to register with Rural Aid to access a range of free services.
Farmers are urged to register online at 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