There are currently 42 Queensland and nine NSW council areas that have been declared drought stricken, with many Australian communities struggling to adapt to harsh conditions in yet another drought stricken summer. In the worst affected areas, farmers are at risk of losing their properties, shops are closing and the town morale is diminished, evidenced by rising rates of mental illness and suicide.
A number of Spar Australia retailers are located within these drought stricken areas and in order to provide some relief to these communities, the ‘Shout a Mate’ Day will be held in all Spar, Spar Express and 5 Star stores on Saturday 15 November to raise ‘shouts’ for nights out for the folk in the bush affected by the ongoing drought.
The aim is to raise funds at store level to enable the Rock & Roll Comedy Roadshow, together with Bruno Lucia, to put on shows in approximately 16 of the drought-stricken locations. These nights bring entertainment and comedic relief to those who need it most. Each contributing store will be given a ‘Sister area’ to create a personal connection between the benefiting community and the stores and communities who raised the funds to make the events possible.
Shout a Mate founder and spokesperson, Anita Donlon is overwhelmed at the attention that this one idea that was borne out of a conversation she had with generational grazier Cate Stuart back in 2011. “Our rural and outback communities need the same mental and social respite as ‘city dwellers’, even more so in the case of those living in remote communities and not having access to a great night out so everyone can come together. To see communities come together for a good old laugh is truly a pleasure to see and who better than the ‘physician of ha ha’ – Bruno Lucia” Ms Donlon said.
To find out more about this issue and the program, visit www.shoutamate.com.au.