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Rural Aid’s Our Towns initiative

Supporting small rural communities impacted by drought

Previous Our Towns events:

Gayndah, QLD

Town Contact: John Zahl

North Burnett Regional Councillor John Zahl from Gayndah said, “I am a little stunned and overwhelmed. This is a great sense of achievement that yes, we have been selected, and that there is someone, somewhere else, who does care not only for our town and community but others in the same boat. I feel very privileged and fortunate – a great thrill, and personally, a degree of pride in being able to help our great town.”

Monto, QLD

Town Contact: Carly Baker-Burnham

Carly Baker-Burnham from Monto said, “When Tracy from Rural Aid called, I had to sit down. It was a feeling of brief disbelief, followed by absolute joy and elation. The feeling of hope rose from my stomach to my heart. Monto is so grateful for this opportunity, it will bring such a buzz of energy and positivity. We really need it, like most communities in rural Australia. We are one of lucky ones!”

Barraba, NSW

Town Contact: Lisa Hannaford

Lisa Hannaford from Barraba said, “I am absolutely Ecstatic. The best news I have had in a very long time. This will be great news for the town of Barraba and an opportunity to showcase our community pride.
Barraba has been struggling with the drought for two and half years and now local business are starting to feel the pinch, so it will be a positive to lift community spirits and bring renewed energy to the town. Give people something else to focus on apart from the daily struggles of the drought,” Lisa Hannaford said.

Alpha, QLD

Town Contact: Brian Smith

Alpha’s Queensland Police Sergeant, Brian Smith said, “As a community, we were overwhelmed to hear that our town was fortunate enough to be selected. We are a rural town who, like many other small rural towns, have been hit with many years of drought and the hardships that are associated with them. The money will boost spirits to the revitalisation of an asset within our community.”

Cunnamulla, QLD

Town Contact: Amy Palmer

Amy Palmer from Cunnamulla said, “I was so shocked and then so excited to hear that we had been a successful applicant. I think I was a little bit incoherent for a few seconds. Then a feeling of relief mixed with my excitement because someone was coming to help breathe new life into our town and show society where we are struggling to keep our committee going. I felt like this was an exciting new chapter for us and just couldn’t believe we were so lucky.”

Brewarrina, NSW

Town Contact: Heather Finlayson

Heather Finlayson from Brewarrina said, “I was initially in total disbelief at our success and it took a while to register what an opportunity we now have. I was unable to sleep that night with positive thoughts running through my mind, thinking of ideas and opportunities to benefit the community.
This will be bringing leaders and the community together to complete some fantastic projects that will be evident to visitors and ex residents. It will help achieve great things despite the recent terrible times which have led to a decline in the population, and loss of services that other communities take for granted. I can see this opportunity rewarding the community members who are sticking it out and have chosen to continue to call Bre home”.

Walgett, NSW

Town Contact: Denielle Kilby

Denielle Kilby from Walgett said, “Thank you!! We are bursting to share this splendid news! This is exactly the pick me up that our people need. We just can’t stop smiling.”
“The North West Plains Sustainability Group and the Walgett CWA are excited to start actioning this initiative with Rural Aid. The five-year roll out of this initiative enables us to look into the future with positivity. This has been difficult in recent years due to continuing drought. We are immensely grateful for this opportunity to showcase our town and our people.

Orroroo, SA

Town Contact: Lyn Hounsell

Orroroo resident, Jodie Boully said, “We are ecstatic to be selected as one of the Rural Aid Our Towns Makeovers. Just the phone call today has created a huge buzz of positivity in our office, can’t wait to share with the community.”