Dilly Drought Drive rewarded for efforts to help farmers

Dedicated volunteers: Sharon Robertson and Tia Veech have been the driving forces behind the Dilly Drought Drive since it started. Picture: David Robertson
Dedicated volunteers: Sharon Robertson and Tia Veech have been the driving forces behind the Dilly Drought Drive since it started. Picture: David Robertson

Local farmers have been working hard to keep their farms afloat during the ongoing drought - but they haven't worked alone.

The dedicated Dilly Drought Drive team have helped Macarthur farmers to access water, hay and food throughout the dry spell.

All of their hard work was rewarded yesterday at the south western Sydney region 2019 Volunteer of the Year Awards where the drought drive took home three awards.

Dilly Drought Drive organiser Sharon Robertson said it was a surprise.

"It was a bit over-whelming because I didn't even know what awards we had been nominated for," she said.

"To win an individual award, a team award and the overall award was totally unexpected - I am still in shock."

The drought drive was awarded the Volunteer Team of the Year award, while Mrs Robertson was awarded the Adult Volunteer of the Year award and the Overall Regional Winner award.

Mrs Robertson and the Dilly Drought Drive are now eligible for state recognition at the 2019 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards final.

"I think we won the award because the drought is still such a huge concern," she said.

"Our farmers are still doing it tough and water supply is becoming an even bigger concern."

Mrs Robertson thanked everyone who had supported the drought drive - especially the team of volunteers.

"Without Tia (Veech) behind the scenes with me, without Gavin (Moore) getting the hay for us, without Lynette (Rideout-Keneally) allowing us to store things in her shed, we wouldn't be able to do what we do,"she said.

"Gavin and Lynette also attend lots of events and meetings with us as farm liaisons.

"I could fill the entire paper with the names of everyone else who has helped us out over the past few years.

"The support we have had from the community is amazing - we are very thankful."

Mrs Robertson urged residents to continue supporting the drought drive.

"We are still donating 150,000 litres of water a week to farmers and that is just relief supplies - it doesn't cover their entire farm," she said.

"Imagine working hard all day and not being able to have a shower because water is so low, nobody should have to live like that.

"Red Frog is still taking canned food donations for us as well so you can contact them if you need to drop some off."

Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth, who was in attendance at the awards, acknowledged the "amazing efforts and work the Dilly Drought Drive has done to support our farmers."

"This group of local people put in an immeasurable amount of work and it is great to see them recognised at this level," he said.

"Wollondilly Council extends its congratulations to Sharon and the team."

Donate to the Dilly Drought Drive via these account details: Dilly Drought Drive Rural Aid, BSB: 114 879, account number: 415 417 799