In 2023, we maintain our focus on creating long-term benefits for rural and regional Australia – supporting education, mental health and wellbeing.
We will be raising funds for key beneficiaries Schools Plus, Rural Aid and Outback Futures, along with other, smaller recipients.
Schools Plus exists to help close the education gap caused by disadvantage.
They work with teachers and schools in disadvantaged areas to empower them with funding, coaching and resources to implement initiatives that will help their students succeed.
Up to half of all students in very remote areas are behind in key educational milestones for their age.
Funding from Big Dry Friday 2023 will go towards school projects across the country, ideally from every state and territory.
Rural Aid is Australia’s most trusted rural charity. It provides critical support to farmers affected by natural disaster through wellbeing and fodder assistance.
Rural Aid’s community programs help create more sustainable communities by building stronger futures for all Australian farmers.
They offer free, confidential counselling to Rural Aid registered farmers and their family.
Rural Aid counsellors catch up with their farmers where they’re most comfortable; whether it’s on farm, in town, or over the phone. They can support with practical strategies to help farmers refocus and get back on track.
Outback Futures is a not-for-profit organisation committed to long-term, intergenerational change in mental health and wellbeing outcomes for our outback children, families and communities.
Their mission is to nurture and empower the outback by renewing hope, building resilience and strengthening community.
Funding from BDF 2022 enabled Outback Futures to increase clinical capacity in the Cloncurry region of Queensland and complete dozens of individual sessions, group workshops and community engagement activities.
During 2023, the focus will be on growing service delivery in the kindergarten, and state and catholic schools of Cloncurry to reach as many children as possible either one-on-one or through workshops.
Royal Flying Doctor Service
The RFDS is a national, charitable, health organisation delivering primary healthcare and 24-hour emergency services for those that live in rural and remote Australia.
Long known as one of the largest aeromedical organisations in the world, the RFDS delivers health care where mainstream health services are not available, using the latest in aviation, medical and communications technology and a broad-reaching ground-service fleet.
The full list of smaller beneficiaries for Big Dry Friday 2023 will be finalised once the total tally is known following BDF Perth. We welcome your suggestions for a rural or regional charity that needs our help.
ACRF Lung Cancer Screening Centre of Excellence
While lung cancer has a high potential cure rate if detected at an early stage, lung cancer screening is not accessible to people living in regional areas. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote communities, who are statistically two times more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer, are one and a half times more likely to die from the disease than non-Indigenous Australians.
There is opportunity through research to increase survival from lung cancer and remove health disparities, closing the gap through access to screening.
The ACRF Lung Cancer Screening Centre of Excellence (LUSCE) will be a mobile multi-platform lung cancer research facility focused on the early detection of lung cancer. Funds from Big Dry Friday 2023 will help fund this program.
Rural Doctors Foundation
Through its GPs 4 rural docs program, the Rural Doctors Foundation is delivering an innovative model of care to provide GP services to health practitioners living and working in rural and remote communities.
The objectives of this program are:
• To provide independent accessible primary healthcare to rural and remote healthcare professionals
• To keep rural healthcare professionals in their communities, ensuring access to quality healthcare by rural and remote Australians particularly our First Nations people.
Funds raised from Big Dry Friday 2023 will be used to support this program
Teacher workforce shortages in Queensland, and Australia more broadly are a well-documented challenging issue with immediate and pressing concern particularly in regional, rural and remote (RRR) areas. There is a need to expose teacher education students in urban areas to opportunities in these locations during their course and professional placement experience to enhance employment outcomes.
A significant barrier to participation in these programs is the cost associated with travelling to and living in a RRR location for the period of the professional placement experience.
Funds raised from Big Dry Friday 2023 will go towards 4 x $5000 bursaries for final year QUT students (fourth year Bachelor of Education and second year Master of Teaching) to support professional experience teaching placements and improve educational outcomes in regional settings (early childhood setting, primary school, or secondary school).
These placements are for four weeks and will commence in May 2024. Once completed, a further $5000 will be awarded to one of the four bursary winners should they accept a position in a regional, rural, or remote school upon graduation.
Rural and Regional Teaching Bursaries
Yalari offers quality, secondary education scholarships at leading Australian boarding schools for Indigenous children from regional and remote communities.
Angel Flight coordinates non-emergency flights to assist country people to access specialist medical treatment that would otherwise be unavailable to them because of vast distance and high travel costs.
The UNE Foundation receives donations from individuals, corporations and public entities to fund scholarships that support rural and regional youth in tertiary education.