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Media Release: Community-led initiatives bringing drought affected residents together

September 26, 2019

Communities affected by drought have received another boost in funding for community-led initiatives to support farmers, their families and the broader community to connect with each other and build resilience.

One of these initiatives is from the Pikedale community, where gatherings are held to introduce new people to the wider community. The gatherings provide a platform for residents to support each other and keep the conversation flowing about each-others wellbeing. Typically held in local woolsheds, machinery sheds and packing sheds, the gatherings bring the conversation directly to farmers.

The Pikedale gatherings are one of over 25 community-led wellbeing activities and initiatives that have received funding in this latest boost.

Funding is being invested in the region through the PHN under the Commonwealth Department of Health’s Empowering Our Communities initiative.

PHN CEO Merrilyn Strohfeldt says supporting resilience for our drought affected communities during this time is an important priority for the PHN.

“We want to ensure that the people living in drought affected areas know that they are not alone and have the support of their local community. The Pikedale gatherings are a fantastic example of how connecting with your neighbours regularly is a great way to reduce isolation and bring people together,” says Ms Strohfeldt.

“The response from these regions has been really positive and there are some important new and existing initiatives that will be rolled out over the next 12 months. We have been able to increase support for further removed and remote communities through this boost,” says Ms Strohfeldt.

Federal MPs who represent these areas welcome the additional support.

“It’s great to see additional funding being invested into drought affected areas, in our rural communities “everyone copes differently and we need to provide support at the local level” says Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz.

Maranoa MP David Littleproud says, “during drought we really need to be actively listening and watching what is going on with loved ones, colleagues or friends, with the addition of these wellbeing initiatives, I hope people feel some relief from the drought.”

Other community-led initiatives are:

  • Drumming for Better Mental Health in Stanthorpe
  • Country Connections Retreat – for individuals identified as being distressed by drought.
  • Warwick Farmers Focus on 5 program - targeting five important areas in the lives of local farmers, Family, Fun, Food, Friendship and Future.

Click here to view all community-led initiatives

Areas receiving funding are Goondiwindi, Southern Downs, Western Downs, Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Toowoomba, Cherbourg and South Burnett local government areas.


For media enquiries please contact:

Aaron Vinnell
Communications and Content Officer

M 0428 906 454