Council to back group helping Pirie region farmers

GOODWILL: Aussie Helpers volunteers David Moon, left, and Brian Egan chat with Mayor Leon Stephens about the Port Pirie Regional Council's backing for their organisation. The group works with farmers around Australia.
GOODWILL: Aussie Helpers volunteers David Moon, left, and Brian Egan chat with Mayor Leon Stephens about the Port Pirie Regional Council's backing for their organisation. The group works with farmers around Australia.

Brian Egan knows what is like to walk off the land.

In the 1990s, his farm in Charleville, Queensland, was savaged by drought and he went broke.

Today, he and colleague David Moon, both returned servicemen, travel Australia promoting Aussie Helpers rural-aid group and aiding farmers in strife.

Mr Egan served in the Royal Australian Navy off Borneo and Vietnam while Mr Moon spent 40 years in the Australian Army including postings in Afghanistan and the Solomon Islands.

Both men are thrilled that the Port Pirie Regional Council will support their group in Port Pirie.

Mayor Leon Stephens, who met with the pair at The Fam Pirie on Monday, said council was keen to be involved.

“We will help with an office and storage space,” he said. “We are 100 per cent behind the group.”

Mr Egan said the group was a rural-help organisation run by volunteers and it operated in every state.

“We help farmers … there is nothing we don’t do,” he said. He said the group could help with stock feed and groceries and other aid.

The organisation provided a virtual psychologist service free. It involved phone calls, text messages and direct consultations.

“No-one else does that in Australia and it is saving lives,” he said.

“We just go wherever there is trouble. Farmers do open up in private when you are sitting in their kitchen having a cup of tea.”

“We visit farms, talk to farmers. That is the only way we can find out the true story.”

He said Port Pirie was centrally located and the council would be a big help.

As for his own misfortune caused by drought, Mr Egan said: "You don’t dwell on that.”

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