DROUGH RELIEF: An Isaac Community Drought Support Grant behind Clermont’s Beyond the Goal Posts Dinner supporting mental health – Craig Hamilton, Jeff & Sarah Cook, Wayne Bennett.
DROUGH RELIEF: An Isaac Community Drought Support Grant behind Clermont’s Beyond the Goal Posts Dinner supporting mental health – Craig Hamilton, Jeff & Sarah Cook, Wayne Bennett. Contributed

Isaac Region supports drought affected communities

ISAAC Regional Council is injecting more $65,000 in programs to support its drought affected communities, with another $50,000 to be distributed in 2016.

The funding, secured through the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Community Drought Support Package, seeks to strengthen the resilience of drought affected Queenslanders by improving access to and participation in support services and community events.

Mayor Anne Baker said she welcomed the funding which is making a big impact in the region's rural communities.

"I welcome this generous support from the Queensland government," she said.

"Council has been successful in securing more funding for next year, and we are calling for expressions of interest from our rural and drought affected communities to put forward meaningful and effective initiatives for support," she said.

"In tough times, it's vital our people are connected and have access to the right support services, and that's what we're seeking to achieve," she said.

"If one person's life is saved, touched or improved by this drought support, then we've achieved something priceless."

Community groups interested in partnering with Council on drought support initiatives are encouraged to complete an Expression of Interest Form available on Council's website or contact Council's Grants Administration Officer on 1300 472 227.

Council recently partnered with Clermont residents Jeff and Sarah Cook under the Community Drought Support Package to host a sell-out dinner for mental health.

The dinner 'Beyond the Goal Posts' welcomed Bronco's coach Wayne Bennett and ABC Sports journalist and broadcaster Craig Hamilton to the region

Mrs Cook said the event was bigger than expected, attracting an audience of more than 350 with people as far as Cunnamulla and Rockhampton.

"We wanted to share Craig and Wayne's message with as many people as possible, without them being 'out of pocket' at a time when it's financially tight for many," she said.

"Our goal was to shine light on mental health in a relaxed environment and break down some of the stigmas that surround it, hopefully we've done that."

"The response we have since had following the event has been overwhelming - with a large number of people commenting on what an impact the night has had on them."

All additional money raised from the event has been donated to the Tie Up The Black Dog committee, run by three ladies in Southern Queensland who devote their time to mental health awareness in rural communities.

Drought declared areas in the Isaac Region are encouraged to access further Government Support through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries at http://www.daf.qld.gov.au.

For further enquiries please contact Isaac Regional Council on 1300 472 227.