Hero truckie honoured

TOP GONG: Brendan Farrell has been recognised for his efforts helping drought affected farmers.

TOP GONG: Brendan Farrell has been recognised for his efforts helping drought affected farmers.

GRIFFITH hero Brendan Farrell has been honoured for his herculean effort helping farmers devastated by drought, but he's not done yet.

The Griffith truckie behind the first two Burrumbuttock to Bourke hay runs has garnered national press coverage, the heartfelt thanks of desperate Australians and now a prestigious accolade from Rotary International recognising exceptional service.

Mr Farrell was chuffed by the gong but said the award's real value was gaining Rotary's trust so he could leverage more donations to pass on to farmers facing oblivion.

"I went to Sydney for a free feed at a Rotary do and they surprised me with the Paul Harris Fellowship award and it turned out the whole luncheon was dedicated to the hay run," he said.

"It was the same week as the international seminar so there were people from China and the USA, all those people from overeas were boggled by how good the Riverina has been to the farmers up north.

"But the best part was they donated a cheque for $55,000 for a mental health program for farmers and now we have the Rotary Club of Sydney backing us basically on my say-so, which is good because we're not an organsation, we're just blokes with trucks and farmers with donated hay."

The big-hearted truckie master-minded the first convoy in February after hearing heartbreaking stories of fourth generation farmers as young as 30 years old taking their own lives.

Mr Farell is saddling up for third time after more devastating tales. "We're going to a different place this time, Lightning Ridge and Goodooga, which are right on the border of NSW and Queensland, basically north of Griffith," Mr Farrel said.

Mr Farrell was expecting 32 trucks laden with feed for livestock to make the trip on Friday, June 27 and encouraged local farmers to donate.

Farmers wishing to contribute squares or bales should contact Brendan Farrell on 0467 808 229 or leave a message on the "Burrumbuttock to Bourke hay run" Facebook page.

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