Australia’s leading rural charity, Rural Aid, has today delivered hay to 15 farmers in Meringur and surrounds.  

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the region’s farmers are still being impacted by the ongoing drought. 

“The dry spell is still making life extremely hard for these farmers,” Mr Warlters said.  

“Rural Aid’s hay drop will not only ease financial pressure for these producers, but it will also provide some emotional encouragement. This hay was purchased thanks to the donations of selfless Australians and Rural Aid’s generous corporate partners like Bushells.” 

More than 280 bales, transported over four truckloads, were distributed to 15 farmers today. 

Andrew Kay is a Meringur cattle farmer and hay recipient. He said the donated hay arrived at an ideal time.   

“We had a half decent year last year, but it hasn’t rained this year at all really. So to have a top-up of hay- it’s a God-send,” Mr Kay said.  

“Everyone is hanging in there, waiting for rain, but it just seems to be going around us…. it’s quite stressful really.” 

Representatives from the National Drought Recovery Agency were also present at the fodder drop. 

Rural Aid Community Representative Carly Noble said the hay drop was a good chance for farmers to get up to date on current assistance measures.  

“It’s great to have inter-agency support for the farmers who are collecting their hay,” Mrs Noble said.  

“It reminds them that they’re not alone in their time of need.” 

Rural Aid is urging farmers to register and to reach out if they need a hand. Rural Aid provides fodder, financial, water and mental wellbeing assistance to registered primary producers.  

Farmers can register at or by calling 1300 327 624. 

Australia’s leading rural charity Rural Aid has finished up a week in Walgett as part of its award-winning Our Towns program.
Walgett has been awarded $100,000 to boost the town’s growth and sustainability over the next five years.

In addition to the financial boon, 36 volunteers have spent a week giving the region a physical makeover.
The team was able to spruce up Walgett’s famous Bore Baths, build new gardens at Apex Park, updo the Historical Museum and install street furniture around town.
The project has been made possible by property investment and development company Holdmark and Peter Kenyon from the Bank of I.D.E.A.S.
A Community Development Plan is in the final stages of completion and will help guide the town’s future.
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters thanked the volunteers for putting in a huge effort.
“After postponing Walgett’s Our Towns week due to flooding, it was great to finally make it to town and get started,” Mr Warlters said.

“The work our volunteers have achieved this week is incredible. They’ve poured their hearts into the town’s projects. We can’t wait to see tourists making the most of Walgett’s upgraded facilities.”
Christine Ford is one of three Walgett locals instrumental in organising Rural Aid’s visit to town.
She thanked the charity and volunteers for the work they’ve poured into the community.
“I think it’s given us the incentive to carry on.
“We have plans in our head that we will carry on and will keep making a difference.”

Holdmark CEO Mr Sarkis Nassif said, “The Rural Aid Our Towns program is an important initiative and one that Holdmark Property Group is proud to be supporting. It is great to see the volunteers working hand in hand with locals to build capacity in regional communities like Walgett.”
“With Volunteer Week having just been celebrated, it is fantastic to see first-hand the significant contribution from the volunteers here in Walgett this week. Evidence shows that volunteering connects us to others in our local communities, to better mental well-being; this forms part of the Holdmark ethos.”

The next Our Towns project is planned for Brewarrina from the 4th to the 10th of July.

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

Australia’s leading rural charity is assisting more than 350 flood-affected farming families thanks to the public’s continued generosity.  

More than $300,000 has now been donated to Rural Aid’s flood appeal, following the devastating floods across New South Wales and parts of Queensland in March.  

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the ongoing support for flood ravaged communities has been inspiring to witness.  

“More than $100,000 was donated in the appeal’s first 24 hours,” Mr Warlters said.  

Rural Aid volunteers on the Oxley Island flood front

“By the time the appeal had been running for a week, more than $200,000 had been donated. 

“It’s wonderful to now reach the $300,000 milestone, two months on from the destructive floods. 

“We are still getting calls for help from flood affected farmers. Without the selfless Australians who’ve dug deep, Rural Aid wouldn’t have been able to assist as many farmers as we have.” 

Generous support from Rural Aid’s corporate partners including APA, BPay and Morgans has been invaluable in getting farmers get back on their feet sooner.  

Rural Aid has provided financial assistance, free mental wellbeing counselling and trailers of donated hay to affected primary producers.  

Additionally, 20 Rural Aid volunteers spent a week on Oxley Island, near Taree, helping farmers clear their paddocks of dangerous debris.   

Applications for Rural Aid’s flood recovery fund close on June 15, 2021.  

To make a donation to Rural Aid, head to  

Farmers needing assistance are being urged to contact Rural Aid on 1300 327 624, or via  

For more information or interviews, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or

Farmers are being urged to touch base with a Rural Aid counsellor for a mental wellbeing check-in, as mouse plagues continue to ravage rural communities.  

Mice are wreaking havoc in large parts of NSW and into Queensland; destroying crops and invading machinery sheds, cars and homes.  

Rural Aid counsellor Gary Bentley said the horrendous plague is yet another obstacle that our resilient Aussie farmers are facing.  

“They’ve finally got to a stage where it’s the best crop for many years and now the mice are moving in and cleaning the crops up,” Mr Bentley said.  

Image credit: CSIRO

“They’re not only destroying new and established crops that are still in the ground, but are also devastating hay and fodder that farmers have stored for supplementary feeding and in preparation for the next dry spell.” 

Mr Bentley said the financial, physical and mental strain of a plague can be overwhelming. 

“When you have things rattling around inside your head it can be more upsetting than it needs to be. We urge people to talk to someone if they’ve got a mice problem,” Mr Bentley said.  

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters has urged primary producers to get in touch with Rural Aid. 

“Rural Aid can help farmers with a range of measures including financial, fodder and mental wellbeing assistance,” Mr Warlters said.  

“This mice plague is one of the worst we’ve seen, so please don’t be afraid to seek help if it’s becoming overwhelming.” 

Rural Aid has a team of counsellors who are specifically trained to help Aussies living on the land. Call the Rural Aid office on 1300 327 624 to inquire about a free and confidential chat with a Rural Aid counsellor, or visit the Rural Aid website

Australia’s leading rural charity couldn’t function without its generous team of volunteers, its CEO has said.  

John Warlters is the CEO of Rural Aid and said the charity wouldn’t be where it is today without the hundreds of volunteers who’ve dedicated their time, energy and money to bettering the lives of others. 

“We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful team of volunteers ready to drop everything and help out Aussie farmers and their communities,” Mr Warlters said.  

“Just last month, we had more than 20 volunteers put their lives on hold, on short notice, to help out flood-ravaged farmers in New South Wales. 

“Our volunteers consistently give their all to Rural Aid. Volunteers are integral to the Our Town makeover events, the Farm Army work program and to the running of the Rural Aid office. 

Rural Aid volunteers on Oxley Island helping with flood recovery

“They travel hundreds of kilometers, sometimes forgoing their own beds, and spend their days toiling away, for the betterment of our farmers. It’s truly inspirational.” 

Mr Warlters said their work doesn’t go unnoticed. 

“We are so grateful to these everyday Aussies. A huge, heartfelt thanks for all the invaluable work you do.” 

Rural Aid is always welcoming of new volunteers. To find out more, head to the or call 1300 327 624.  

For more information or interviews, contact Rural Aid media on 0447 116 757 or