Wendy Kilborn, daughter Alysha, Rotarian, Brian Morrison, ‘Friend of Rotary,’ Col Tyquin, with Rotarians Craig Cameron and Dale Wilford. (Two Ulladulla district people missing from this photo are David Kilborn and Denise Fors)
The Rotary Club of Milton-Ulladulla arranged a Christmas gathering for the farming district of Tallimba, a small town about 40 kilometres to the west of Wyalong in the Central West of NSW. The farming community in this area is struggling to live in an environment that is almost without water. The prolonged drought that is impacting most of Australia seems to be biting hardest in western parts of NSW and Queensland.
In a good season the farms in this area grow wheat and barley and run sheep for wool. It is now over three years since they have had a reasonable crop of wheat and the sheep are being sold off because they can’t afford to hand feed them. The money they get from the sale goes toward feeding their families.
The event that Rotary hosted was organised by Rotarian Dale Wilford with the help of others from the Milton Ulladulla district and members of the Rotary Club of West Wyalong. There were several vehicles including one truck that travelled from Ulladulla, taking gifts of food and water for the families and Christmas presents for the children.
Many people in our coastal district contributed toward the goods and gifts that were delivered to Tallimba, and the generosity of our community was sincerely appreciated by the farming families of Tallimba.
The photo shows some of the many Christmas parcels. Shoe boxes and shopping bags were filled to create age appropriate gifts for all of the children from infants to 17 years. There were cartons of pantry items, pet food and toys, cleaning accouterments and new children’s clothing available for the families to select. All of which were gratefully accepted by the local community.
Four pallet loads of clear spring water in ten litre containers were delivered for the families to take. These were for use in the homes of local farmers as well as at the Tallimba primary school where the tap water is brown and quite unpalatable. Thirty local families attended the gathering, almost one hundred and fifty people, and without exception, they were happy to have us there and appreciated the efforts of the people of Milton-Ulladulla.
The simple fact that other parts of NSW are thinking about distant farming communities that are struggling in this very severe drought gave them a boost. The Rotary Club of West Wyalong put on a most enjoyable barbeque and a showing of Aladdin with loads of popcorn. It was truly wonderful to see the people of Tallimba smiling and happy when you know that they have not had much to smile about for the last few years.
The natural disaster that is this prolonged drought is having massive impacts on the economy and the people of this great land. The people of Milton-Ulladulla were able to make a positive difference in the lives of the Tallimba community making it a fantastic weekend for everyone.