I’ve been noticing that in our local community newspapers, school newsletters and on our community Facebook page there has been a general call out for fundraiser committee members and sponsors. As the new year begins, so do the new round of Fete & Fair organising committee meetings. My thoughts immediately returned to a debate that has been going on here in Australia since New Years Eve celebrations shared the news with a continuing crippling drought on New Years Day. I’m sure the discussion was happening before that, but maybe I wasn’t aware of it.
“This county is in another year of drought. Many of the farmers who put food on your table and clothes on your back are facing losing everything. Some have been farming for generations. Their struggle is manifesting in despair, depression, suicide, poverty and worse. In many cases all they can do is watch the sky in desperation as their crops don’t take and their livestock perish, while they remain powerless. How can we sit back on New Year’s Eve and watch millions of dollars literally go up in smoke for a few minutes of our viewing pleasure when this money could do so much toward helping these farmers, the backbone of our county, live to fight another day?”
These are the words of the founder of the petition on change.org Lisa Nicholls – Donate Australia’s New Year’s Eve fireworks money to our struggling farmers.
“Watching the news this morning of “The best fireworks ever” for each capital city, 10tons of fireworks in Brisbane, over $7mill in Sydney, god knows how much in Melbourne and Adelaide….. Well people I hope you enjoyed them while these poor bastards watched their mates and babies die as there is no feed…. Money could have been much better spent in 1-2 mins of fireworks(not 16mins in Sydney alone) and the rest donated to struggling farmers in drought and fire effected areas.”
And these words by Jo Morgan have been shared on Facebook more than 26,795 times since she posted them on New Years Day.
The words above are just two of many opinions expressed in the newspapers and on social media. Many readers will know of my feelings and thoughts about our farmers from my previous post Breaking The Drought With a Net! Once again, my heart bleeds … surely we need to give this issue of fireworks and farmers, our full attention.
Imagine – every fair, fete or celebration organising committee could be heroes, if they donated the money spent on fireworks, to the backbone of our land! What a great lesson for our children! A lesson of care for and connection and solidarity with those suffering in our own backyard. By announcing why there were no fireworks (or less if none is too hard), at your event, what great publicity for Sponsors!
The possibilities for connection between schools, communities, churches and businesses and the families on the land are endless.