HAY DAY ANNOUNCEMENT
PLEASE PLAY Brian’s interview in the Audio Box Below to listen to Brian discussing the ongoing drought Aussie Farmers are enduring, and how Aussie Helpers’ team prepare and assist farmers with their needs at Hay Days… Aussie Helpers have a new Hay Day scheduled for Hughenden N/W QLD, over 60 families are attending to distribute over $70,000 of hay, molasses, bagged loose lick and a huge BBQ is being provided by the Lions Club our premier sponsor this year. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this day coming together and we look forward to seeing everyone on the day.
Brian & Nerida Egan
TRANSCRIPT OF NTERVIEW OF Brian Egan by ABC News (12/5/14) RE: Hughenden Hay Day
BRIAN EGAN: We are doing something in Hughenden on the 18th day which is very very special because about every month we do what we call a Hay Day and this one in Hughenden is just a big special one because the Flinders Shire is really really really deep in trouble from drought . I mean we’ve had a little bit rain but it’s gone now and I was driving up just near Muddaburough the other day and I saw dead cattle in the paddocks there so I think the cold change might have came in and they probably died of pneumonia overnight. But I thought we are past that, but obviously we are not, but this thing we are doing in Hugenden, we’ve got about 60 farmers coming in and we’ve been out over the last month visiting these people just seeing how they are traveling and how their well being is and so we’ve invited 60 families in for this barbeque and a hay day in Hugenden Show Grounds where people will get supplies and lots and lots of hay, there is 700 bales of hay out there, there’s about 600 from Aussie Helpers and about 100 bales of hay from the Magnetic Island business community.
INTERVIEWER: So the local people here are right behind you then?
BRIAN EGAN: Well the local people, especially the Lion’s Club of Castle Hill who has been absolutely fantastic and those guys will be doing the cooking out there, I think they are catering for about 150 or 200 people.
INTERVIEWER: And what else will the farmers out there receiving from you? It’s going to be like Christmas for them!
BRIAN EGAN: WellI think it will because I think what they will be getting in value is between $60-$70,000 worth of goods and that is just hay and (XXXX) have donated about 20,000 lts of molasses, and molasses is like gold out in the bush and these people have just been wonderful. And of course we’ve got lots of bags stock feeds from Ridley’s Agricultural, Ridley’s Agriproducts who are in Townsville. They are sending in lot of lose lick and horse feed. And these products are people can’t afford to buy anymore because as the biggest problem in the bush now is that people just doesn’t have any money.
INTERVIEWER: And so receiving hay bales and licks, and molasses, and feed the way you are taking it out there, what impact is going to have on them?
BRIAN EGAN: Well it’s going to change their mood for a start, and that’s the whole idea of it, and I mean the idea of the barbeque is obviously to get them to come in to socialise because they do isolate themselves out there and that’s the way we deal with mental illness in the bush too is by having our people go out and visit them first then invite them in for these barbeques and hay days and I think we have dramatically decreased the amount of depression and suicides during this drought. I mean we did the same thing in the previous drought which ended in about 2009 I think it was, but we didn’t have the resources or the infrastructure to do what we are doing now. So we are in that just lucky position where we are getting the support to be able to do it. And I think people in the bush have just been lucky this time that we are around.
INTERVIEWER: And as you said it’s not just bringing out feed and bringing out supplies that they need and they can’t afford, that’s going to save their livestock. But having a helping hand, a friendly shoulder, someone to chat to, that’s equally clearly important, isn’t it?
BRIAN EGAN: Yeah that’s right. Our main primary goal is the well-being and mental health of the people in the bush because they are isolated and they don’t talk about their problems, that’s why we go and visit people on their properties. And nobody else does this. And everyone is a volunteer at Aussie Helpers, no one gets paid anything and so we have passion to do it. And that is the difference. I mean we go onto properties, talk to them in their kitchens over a cup of tea and a bickie and then they talk to us, and then we arrange these hay days and there are people are coming for these barbeques. Have a little bit of socialising and they talk to one another. Look I was in Lightening Ridge a couple of weeks ago, we did one down there and somebody pointed one bloke out to me and said it was the first time he’d seen that man smile for more than a year.
INTERVIEWER: A little bit of rain might look good but that support still needs to be maintained.
BRIAN EGAN: Oh hell yeah. You know this is going to go on for ages. It’s a big problem out there. Look I have never seen so much death and I’ve never seen poverty in the Bush. Honestly, it is sad. I’ve been to places where the people haven’t been able to afford to buy water for their home tanks and Aussie Helpers have had to go and get tankers of water to fill up their house tanks so they could flush the toilet and have a shower and stuff like. And you don’t hear about those stories, but we know about it because that’s why we go and visit the people to find out what’s really going on, and that’s what we do. We are so proud to be doing what we are doing because we feel privileged to be helping them because we think people these people are the soul of the Earth they work so hard, so hard to grow the best food in this world.