Duri is a rural area south of Tamworth in the New England region that has been suffering drought-related stress and financial hardship.
Duri Public School has a number of families who are feeling the impact, either because they rely directly on the land for their income or their jobs depend on the health of the rural sector.
Mount St John’s Catholic School in Dorrigo rallied to provide support for the Duri families with a ‘Dorrigo Doing It for Duri’ fundraiser.
The students, staff and families at Mount St John’s dressed as farmers to raise money and contributed donations of breakfast foods, lunch box fillers and water.
Principal of Duri PS, Ms Catherine Anderson, said they very much appreciated the efforts of everyone at Mount St John’s Catholic School.
“Not only will the donations be very welcome, but it is also heartwarming to think that other people appreciate the difficulties our community is facing,” she said.
The two schools have been in communication, with Duri students taking the opportunity to make thank you cards. While Dorrigo usually has high rainfall, they too have been experiencing drier than normal times.
Principal of Mt St John’s, Nathan Trezise, said he’d been overwhelmed by the community's response to those suffering from the drought.
“To see the generosity of our families as they support those in need is central to what we want our students to learn,” he said.
“We are only a small school so seeing this speaks of their thoughtfulness towards those in need. The students were keen to support farmers in drought. They have done remarkable work under the direction of Tianaha, one of our Parents and Friends members.”
Tianaha Willson-Baker, who coordinated the drive, said she couldn’t be prouder of the effort of Mt St John’s.
“While the school community always puts in a great effort for these kinds of things, we really went all out for this.
“Together we collected a whole ute load of goods for the families of Duri Public School and seeing the looks on the faces of the kids and staff when we delivered them on Monday was such a reward.
“I am so glad we could do our bit to help, however I must give a huge thanks to Sue-Ellen Wilkin of the Doing it for Our Farmers Donation Drive and Gena Walker a Duri parent, for collaborating with me to make this possible.”