The Aussie Helpers team were one of the first on the ground supporting Tweed Valley farmers in the wake of the devastating floods of February and March last year.
The team visited 48 farmers in the region over five days, providing essential financial and mental wellbeing support.
In what local farmers like Neil Baker described as “simply brilliant”, the Queensland-based charity quickly paid $380,000 in supplier invoices for farmers and delivered $15,000 worth of hay. Fuel vouchers, visa cards, hampers and pet food were also provided.
Their ongoing help extends beyond a financial hand, with the Aussie Helpers team living up to a promise to return to the region for social gatherings and mental wellbeing support.
They returned to Tweed Valley in May last year and again last week to host a BBQ for farmers at the Murwillumbah Showground. Local businesses sponsored the event, which was also supported by North Coast Local Land Services, the Rural Financial Counselling Service and RAHMP.
Around 60 Tweed valley farmers joined in to reflect on the economic and emotional toll of the natural disaster, and to share some positive yarns on the recovery process.
“Every farmer we spoke with at the community BBQ is still recovering from the floods 12 months later. The biggest challenge they’ve faced is the physical recovery and amount of work required to restore their farms,” said Aussie Helpers CEO Tash Nocks.
“It was heartening to hear that the majority of Tweed Valley farmers are determined to stay on their farms.
“Despite the extreme challenges they’ve faced, farmers report feeling supported, which is a reflection on their families and the broader community.”
Tash said Aussie Helpers is committed to providing ongoing support to farmers in need and supporting rural communities as they rebuild from natural disasters.
Glen Innes farmers also chipped in to support farmers in the Northern Rivers. Read more here.