Posted by Karin Eurell on Nov 24, 2019
The Rotary Clubs of Northbridge (Sydney) and Wellington (NSW) have embarked on a joint project to support the families of drought-affected communities in Western NSW.  There are 744 primary school kids from the Wellington District and they are all being treated to a day at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo including a BBQ lunch. 
 
The project is being run over a 7-week period. Rotarians from Northbridge are driving there to connect with their fellow Rotarians in Wellington and to jointly run the BBQ. Northbridge President, Peter Antaw, said that of the families: “The children are suffering as well, most of them don’t understand the financial and extreme pressures that their parents are going through.”  The families are anxious about their future but there is also much determination to keep their communities alive.
 
Australia is experiencing one of its most severe droughts on record, with areas in NSW facing the prospect of running out of water by mid-2020.
The Burrendong dam is now at 4.5% capacity and dwindling rapidly.
The crisis is severely impacting the Wellington area and so special treats like a visit to the zoo is just not possible for many locals and their families.
 
3000 muesli bars, supplied free by Nestles, as well as 744 sausage sandwiches and a cold drink will be given to the children of the district which includes regional small towns such as Geurie, Mumbil, Stuart Town and Euchareena.
 
The joint project was launched on 11th September and Channel 7 Prime TV attended the Zoo to film the event. ABC Morning Radio interviewed the Presidents.  The kids thoroughly enjoyed their day with most of them citing  the Cheetahs and Meer Cats as their favorites.
 
   
 
Ben Shields (Mayor of Dubbo Regional) and Daryl Thompson (Headmaster of Wellington Primary) also attended the launch. They both congratulated the Rotary Clubs for identifying children as the hidden victims of the drought.  President Greg Hart of Wellington Rotary also thanked Northbridge Rotary and the Rotary Australia Benevolent Society for their very generous contributions to the project, and for driving up from Sydney to help at the BBQ’s. Without Northbridge, Wellington would not have taken on this project.
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