On recognising the plight of farmers battling drought conditions, Ballarat Clarendon College community service leaders, Olivia Haeusler, Ash Malloch and Lauren Gingell, realised they had an opportunity to offer support and make a contribution.
They decided that whatever the school did may as well be big and the Walk a Country Mile event was born.
Having taken on their roles because they believed in the power of community service, they realised that an event like this could do two things.
First, it could raise much-needed funds and, second, it could raise awareness and prompt action.
“Clarendon has very strong rural connections historically and through boarding. We wanted students to realise how tough it can be to be dependent on weather and circumstances outside of your control,” explained Lauren.
The event took place on the last day of the term three and had Adam Meek from Need for Feed outline his motivation for volunteering time and equipment to get stockfeed to where it was needed.
This was followed by all students Walking a Country Mile around the school precinct while wearing a touch of country such as hats, flannelette shirts or boots.
In addition to raising nearly $4500 for the cause, it significantly increased our understanding of the challenges farmers face.
The girls hope that the event might become an annual highlight that the next generation of community service leaders continue: “You really can get the whole school involved in something special if you make an effort.”