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Droving the Blues Away - Raising $27,858 and awareness for mental health issues in the Riverina!

During September and October 2016, Droving the Blues Away provided a unique opportunity for Riverina Bluebell to share stories, make connections and create greater awareness about mental health in communities along the Riverina stock route.

Community events in Lockhart, Narrandera, Ganmain and Wagga Wagga were well supported, with many enjoying the barbecues and refreshments as well as the free rides and amusements.

12 head of cattle were generously donated to the Droving the Blues Away campaign, raising a total of $26,668 for Riverina Bluebell at the charity auction on 24 October at the Wagga Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre. A huge thank you to RSL Wagga Wagga for purchasing the top priced steer for $10,000!

Another $1,190 was donated online during the campaign, bringing the total raised to $27,858 – a fantastic result that will enable Riverina Bluebell to continue to fight for greater awareness of mental health in the local community.

Recognising our wonderful contributers

Hellfire Trading.  Holbrook – 5 Steers                                 DP,CM & PW Nugent.  Tarcutta – 1 Steer
Wallaby Creek Pastoral Co. Gundagai – 1 Steer                 Yaven Pastoral Co. Adelong – 1 Heifer
Trewalla Partnership. Wagga Wagga – 1 Heifer                 Deltroit Station. Adelong – 1 Heifer
Sykes Pastoral Co. Humula – 1 Cow                                     JD Charleston. Wagga Wagga – 1 Cow

Share stories and create connections in support of mental health

Travelling stock routes have wound their way through our rural communities for years, creating a pathway to share stories and create connections, often when seasons had failed.

Organised by Riverina Local Land Services, the iconic Long Paddock within the Riverina will this year host Droving the Blues Away, a cattle drive with a difference.

Starting at the Henty Machinery Field Days on Wednesday 21 September 2016, the drive will cover 260 kilometres on its way to the Wagga Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre.

Cattle taking part in the drive will then be auctioned on Monday 24 October 2016, with all funds raised donated to respected mental health community-based organisation, Riverina Bluebell.

Along the way, the drive will host a series of community events at Lockhart, Narrandera, Ganmain and Brucedale.

Play your part in Droving the Blues Away

To take part in this milestone community event and raise funds for local mental health initiatives, you can:

Donate suitable cattle by Sunday 28 August 2016 to take part in the drive and make it an unforgettable experience

  • Bid in the Charity auction at the Wagga Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre on Monday 24 October 2016, where all funds raised will go to Riverina Bluebell
  • Participate in the free community events along the stock route during September and October 2016 at the following locations:
    Lockhart, Friday 30 September
    Narrandera, Friday 7 October
    Ganmain, Friday 14 October
    Brucedale, Friday 21 October
  • Donate to Droving the Blues Away online  HERE

Launch by Chris Wilson

RB_DTBA_Launch_Wilson from Comms&Co. on Vimeo.

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How can you help?

We are looking for donations of fit, healthy cattle to take part in the 260km cattle drive and fundraising auction.

  • Beef cattle only – no dairy or dairy cross cattle
  • Weaner/yearling steers or heifers
  • Non pregnant females, no calves at foot
  • No bulls.

Health standards must be met to ensure both the protection and welfare of the travelling stock as well as the livestock that neighbour the route.

All stock must come with:

  • a completed National Cattle Health Statement
  • a completed NVD which represents the property that the animal was moved from
  • an appropriate NLIS device attached to the ear.

Donation options

Cattle must be donated by Sunday 28 August 2016 to take part in the drive.

Donations of cattle after this date will be accepted on arrangement with Riverina Local Land Services and will take part in the fundraising auction only.

Contact Riverina Local Land Services on 6923 6300 to discuss the drop off of suitable stock, or arrange pick up.

Riverina Local Land Services

Riverina Local Land Services has around 80 staff with diverse roles, experiences and knowledge.

We have offices in 14 towns across the Riverina and form close connections with the community.

We work with land managers and the community to improve primary production within healthy landscapes and assist rural and regional communities to be profitable and sustainable into the future.

We provide primary production advice, biosecurity, natural resource management and emergency management functions throughout the region.

There are a number of ways you can work with us to improve your land and our region.

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1300 795 299


Community helping Community

In recognition of the importance of maintaining good mental health within our rural community, Riverina Local Land Services has entered into a unique partnership with Riverina Bluebell to conduct a milestone community event.

“Mental health issues affect rural & regional communities, often unseen & with devastating impacts.”

“Droving the Blues Away” is a fundraising cattle drive that will take place along 260 kilometres of the iconic “Long Paddock” in the Riverina Region.

At each stock resting point, an event will bring the community together to raise awareness of mental health issues and the support services available.

At the end of the six week drive, the stock will be sold at a celebrity auction at Wagga Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre.

All proceeds raised at the auction and during the drive will go to Riverina Bluebell to support their continuing campaign for increased mental health support within our local communities.

I am proud of Riverina Local Land Services role in supporting our rural communities. I encourage those who are interested, to donate cattle or purchase cattle during the celebrity auction, and play their part in droving the blues away.

Sam ArcherChairRiverina Local Land Services

Mental Health

Riverina Bluebell was formed by local people who felt raising the levels of awareness about mental health in our rural and regional communities could save lives.

We strongly believe that by increasing awareness about mental health, individuals feel more likely to share stories, realise they are not alone and seek out support.

“Our aim is simple – get people more aware of mental health and get them talking about it.”

Droving the Blues Away provides a great fundraising opportunity, but more importantly, a unique way to get rural communities together to talk.

Mac ArmytageChairRiverina Bluebell

Riverina Bluebell

Riverina Bluebell is a Wagga Wagga based, not-for-profit, community organisation.

Formed in 2007, Riverina Bluebell works to provide information to connect people suffering from depression, and their carers, with support and resources in the Riverina.

Our goal is to raise awareness about the avenues of support for mental health available to Riverina locals and build an understanding that asking for help is OK.

We deliver community workshops and presentations, provide training and assistance to enable communities to help and support themselves and fund the development and implementation of mental health campaigns within rural communities.

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