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Our staff donation scheme has contributed funds to the NSW drought relief effort

Employees have chosen to donate almost $16,000 to Dubbo’s Thirsty Cow charity

Monday, 03 September, 2018.

The plight of communities affected by drought has impelled staff to donate close to $16,000 from their salary deduction scheme to the Thirsty Cow charity. The charity provides relief to farmers, graziers and their families, suffering financial or other distress.

Thirsty Cow’s Krystal Haycock, a fourth-generation farmer from Yeoval, said the donation came as a pleasant boost to help keep up with the constant requests for support.

"As resilient and reluctant to ask for help as our farmers are, particularly those in Central West and Western NSW, we’ve been flooded with requests for even the most basic of needs, including groceries for families unable to afford them," she said.

"This donation will be spent in local businesses, which are of course also suffering as the agricultural industry driving our region faces the crisis," Krystal added

Chelsea Turrell, a team member in Newcastle Permanent’s head office, was raised in Dubbo and nominated Thirsty Cow to receive the donation after seeing friends and family in her hometown suffering through the drought.

"I’m thrilled Thirsty Cow is the recipient of our donation, and very proud of our organisation for supporting farmers when they need it most," Chelsea said. "Thirsty Cow does a remarkable job supporting farmers in need, and I’ve seen the help they’ve provided to so many rural families during times of crisis and strain.

Krystal from Thirsty Cow receiving a novelty cheque
Krystal Haycock from Thirsty Cow (centre) with Chelsea Turrell and Sam Theobald of Newcastle Permanent.

“Supporting Aussie farmers is something I’m incredibly passionate about.

"I’m a Dubbo girl originally, growing up on an acreage just off the Mitchell Highway. While my family didn’t rely on farming to provide, we certainly felt the hardship of the early 2000’s drought with dry dams, empty tanks and bare paddocks. Aside from buying feed for our horses, we were buying truckloads of water on a regular basis to keep the household running, and I can’t begin to imagine the stress and sleepless nights farming families are experiencing with the current conditions across NSW and QLD."

Dubbo Branch Lending Manager Sam Theobald presented the donation to Thirsty Cow on behalf of Newcastle Permanent employees who sacrifice fortnightly from their salary for local charity donations.

"I’m so proud to be able to present a donation to help with a cause that is having such a huge impact on this community right now, and I and all my colleagues really hope this can go some way to easing the strain and suffering we’re seeing in our and other rural communities," Sam said.

The Newcastle Permanent staff donations scheme, called CommunityAssist, distributes funds twice a year. Employees can nominate and vote on local charities to receive the funds. The program has to date provided more than $750,000 to charities directly from employees’ salaries since it started in 1997, averaging $60,000 in donations each year.

Thirsty Cow was established in 2008 to provide relief to Australian farmers and their families suffering financial or other distress arising from the effects of natural disasters such as severe drought, flood and bushfire. Their support ranges from financial assistance to donations of materials, food, transport, vehicle maintenance and animal care.

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