Overrun with phone calls and requests from farmers struggling with the drought, Inverell Rural Financial Counsellor, Geoff Mill has also been witness to the town’s ongoing generosity.
Mr Mill was pleased to accept a cheque for $2000 from the Inverell Men’s Shed to support the Rural Financial Counselling Service late last month.
“I think the Inverell community’s a very strong community and it’s coming together and getting through this difficult time together,” he said.
“Organisations like the men’s shed are an example of good community involvement. It’s got great participation and a lot of members and they all seem to get a lot out of it. It’s great in the community.”
Filled with ex-farmers and men who’ve worked on the land, Inverell Men’s Shed president Greg Brabant said he was proud of the men for choosing to support the service.
“I don’t know how you fix the drought only besides rain. Any little bit can help and that’s what the men want to do,” Mr Brabant said.
Mr Mill said that according two the NSW Department of Primary Industries, both the Inverell and Gwydir Shires are drought affected, with higher intensity in the northern areas.
“Primary producers are feeling that impact directly,” he said. With many state and federal support measures requiring thorough understanding, Mr Mill said many farmers were finding application paperwork very stressful.
“I’ve got a lot of messages on my phone and people to talk to and get back to, so my role’s basically reactive at the moment. I’m just trying to put as much value as I can in on every conversation with people to talk about options that they might be considering to improve their circumstances,” he said.
Mr Brabant encouraged local men, including farmers, to consider joining the shed to improve their health.
“I’m an ex-farmer and farmers are very proud. They don’t like to ask for help, but from my point of view, it’s helped me over the years,” he said.
“We’ve got men here that didn’t think it would be any good for them and they’re still here after years. It’s just being able to say ‘I’ll give it a go.’”