If anywhere is going to have a good handle on the conditions facing the farmers of the area, it’s going to be the local pub.
That is even more true in a place like Tarana, which only has the one commercial venue at which people can gather.
“Working here, we’ve seen people come in, and you only need to listen to stories to see how hard people are doing,” Tarana Hotel worker Victoria Bewley said.
The effects of the drought on local producers has intensified within the last six months and the staff at the pub have noticed that some people stopped coming as disposable income dried up. And it wasn't just the farmers feeling the pinch – it was the associated businesses and contractors who would normally work for them, or supply goods.
So Victoria and her colleague Jacinda Snow decided to do something about it. This weekend, the hotel will host a day that’s all about the farmers. From 12pm to 12am on Saturday, September 15, there will be family fun activities planned at the hotel.
“It’s a relief day,” Tarana Hotel’s Jacinda Snow said.
“A chance for everyone to come together and just enjoy themselves.”
The day will also be about raising funds for local farmers. A charity has been founded by a Tarana-based committee, called Tarana Fight for Farmers.
“We noticed a lot of the charities were sending aid to other areas, which is amazing, but we thought we’re in a position to help people in our own community,” Victoria said.
“We’re like a little family community here and we want to try to assist each other.”
The charity has partnered with Lifeline to offer services on the day.
“The biggest thing, aside from raising money, is we want families to come along, get together, to feel comfortable to speak,” Victoria said.
Visitors will be asked to confidentially nominate people within the region they know are in need of support.
It will be a family-friendly event, with the Galloping Gumnuts running a kids station, and there will be an animal nursery and face painting.
There will also be a hair cut and shave station and live entertainment throughout the afternoon, as well as charity auctions and raffles.
Organisers thanked the entertainers for their generous donation to the event, as well as businesses who supported with goods.
Tarana Fight for Farmers hopes to go on to form a women’s group as a support network.
“The emphasis is on the farmers doing it hard, but there are often females behind the scenes keeping everything together who don’t get the light shone on them,” Victoria said.
“We’re hoping it will be a safe space where they can talk and get the support they need.”