Culture of giving alive and well in Australia

Fair dinkum: Although they are in one of the most drought-affected parts of Queensland, Blackall’s rugby league team handed over a cheque for over $8000 to Brendan Farrell for the truck drivers’ fuel costs when he passed through on Friday. The Magpies, represented by Mark Wemyss, Adrian Baker and Ady Walker, staged a charity match with the Moranbah Miners in February. Picture: Lisa Alexander, Barcoo Independent.“Hope” is the word the president of the Sydney Rotary Club uses when he talks about the donations thathelp fund the efforts of the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners.
Nanjing Night Net

As a registered charity, theclub manages the money given by the public that pays for the fuel costs of the drivers who volunteer their trucks and time, and its president Andrew Laurie says it’s a very motivating experience.

“It’s encouraging and exciting, to see there are Australians left that want to help fellow Aussies,” he said.

“And we get to receive messages from the farmers that are helped too.Some of them have lost faith but when they see how many want to help, it gives them hope.We certainly don’t want to stop doing this.”

The club has put $1.5m into fuel since the hay runs started in 2014.

Aramac grazier Andrew Cowper was one of many expressing thanks in person.He’sstill feeding 1500 sheep, 28 stud heifers and a couple of bulls, and says every little bithelps.

“To think there are so many people from across Australia who care enough to do this not just once but twice in our case, is just amazing,” he said.

“You say to them, we hope we can do the same for you one day – but then you think, no I don’t actually. We don’t want to see anyone in the same situation we’ve been through.”

Sydney truck driver Heath Willis said it wasn’t an option not to come back when he heard a second hay run to Queensland was planned.

“I saw how it put a smile on everyone’s face last time,” he said. “We just want to let people know Australia hasn’t forgotten them, even if the government has.”

He organised six trailer loads of round bales and haylage from Sydney Water’s Picton Reuse Farm.

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