It’s been an incredibly tough time for people in the bush, especially our Aussie farmers. In the latest issue of Frontier News, Greg and Bethany Stace, share their struggle with the ongoing drought and how Outback Links volunteers made a difference to their family.
“It’s been really difficult with this drought, so having these volunteers really saves us…You can sit down and have a chat over a meal. It gives you a mental break from the stress,” said Greg.
For Greg Stace, farming runs through his veins. His parents started on a station in Armidale NSW when he was a youngster. They built up their property then sold, built again and sold, all the time working their way towards bigger stations until they arrived at Wyandra in QLD, where they graze cattle, sheep and goats.
Now married, Greg and his wife, Bethany, live on the station with their five young children and Greg’s parents – three generations on the family farm.
Right now, drought is the biggest issue facing the area. The soil is too dry to grow grass, forcing the farmers in the area to destock or pay skyrocketing prices for hay.
Each day, Greg and his father head out to hand-feed the animals, while Bethany looks after the homestead and home-schools the children.
It is relentless and exhausting work, and it has been like this for two years. There is no time or energy to attend to any other chores.
For a short time, that all changed with the arrival of our Outback Links volunteers.
It had been 17 years since the Stace family home had been repainted. Greg had received a quote for $10 000 for the job two years earlier.
Leading the Outback Links team was a seasoned volunteer from the Qantas Cabin Crew team, Royce O’Neill. Royce knows that a few extra hands can make a really big difference.
“Painting a house can take a lot of time and the demands of feeding their animals every day makes things difficult, so we’re more than happy to lend a hand,” he said.
By the end of the week the house started to look more like a home, and the volunteers felt like members of the extended family.
“You can see that being out here really helps life everyone’s spirits,” Royce said. “We know it’s not life-saving work, but its work that helps out the community.”