2021 Queensland Local Hero
Australia Day Award Recipient
In November 2020 our Founder, Natasha Johnston was honoured to be awarded Qld Local Hero for 2021 at the Australia Day Awards.Her dedication and passion for Australian farming families is reflected in everything she does and has been the constant heartbeat driving Drought Angels to where it is today. We could not be more proud of ‘Our Tash’ with her passionate commitment to always be a voice for our farmers.
Written and performed by Larry Cann
Filmed in Kingaroy QLD by Tina Torrens in support of Drought AngelsDownload Country cries from Apple here
Touched by the suicide of a rodeo friend in 2016, country singer/songwriter Larry Cann knew he had to do something to bring mental illness into the everyday and encourage people to open up to the idea of talking to others about their burdens. Being no stranger to mental health issues himself, he knew only too well how important is was to speak to up rather than letting it bottle up inside. From the outside looking in his friend had it all, but the demons he had battled were never spoken of with family nor friends…
After a conversation with a local councillor from the South Burnett Regional Council, Larry’s passion for song writing was reignited, compelling him to write a song about suicide in farming communities and the mental health struggles faced by so many in rural and regional communities.
‘Country Cries’ was born.
Just prior to release Larry reached out to Drought Angels offering the use of ‘Country Cries’ to further promote awareness of mental health issues and generally further our mission to support farming families across Australia. At the time Drought Angels were working on some video projects with Torkit Business Solutions in Kingaroy. One of the projects in particular was needing a very special backing track, Country Cries was the perfect solution. With a feed-trough full of faith, friendship and a genuine desire to share the important message the song portrays, Tina from Torkit business solutions offered to create a complimentary film clip “as a thank you from Drought Angels to Larry for the use of his song”.
Drought Angels would like to sincerely thank Tina for her kindness in creating this film clip and Larry Cann for the use of this very special and deeply personal song. Stay tuned in coming months for the video project featuring ‘Country Cries’.
HELPING AUSSIE FARMERS AS THEY TRAVEL THE LONG ‘COUNTRY ROAD’ TO RECOVERY...
Drought Angels is proud to release Country Roads/On the Road Again, a medley by Australia’s legendary Marty Rhone featuring Dani Young and some great American country players. An Australian/American collaboration aimed at helping Aussie farmers as they travel the long ‘Country Road’ to recovery…
In January 2020 Australia was on fire – the world was shocked by the images of thousands of acres of precious farmland being stripped of the little vegetation that had been left by the unprecedented drought.
Marty Rhone was in America at the time and felt he needed to do something to help. He reached out to Drought Angels and, together with some of America’s best country players, organised some benefit concerts. From these concerts was born the idea to release a recording to further promote the plight of Aussie farmers. The incredible lyrics of ‘Country Roads’ immediately came to mind alongside the iconic chorus from ‘On the Road Again’ – something farmers hoped would soon be the case…Having recorded the track in early 2020 the project lay dormant for 8 months when COVID hit and Marty was forced to return home to Australia. Motivated to complete the project he re-recorded the medley in his home studio with Australian country artist Dani Young also recording backing vocals and like many projects in 2020, distance proved no barrier as the recordings were sent off to the studio in America for the finishing touches.Releasing across Australia, the medley is landing just in time for Australia Day 2021 – the perfect time to spare a thought to the amazing farmers who overcome natural disasters every year to preserve and continue their life’s work of feeding and clothing their fellow Aussies.
Tune into your local community/country radio station to hear the track today or download from your favourite music platform.
Click on the link below to hear the winning entry for our Aussie Lyrics Competition – congratulations to the winner Amanda Griffiths!
Messages from our Farmers
"We would like to thank you so, so much for our beautiful surprise we received from you. The cards will be a great help to pay our outstanding bills we have at the moment.
Thank You so much for your generous support."
"I can't thank you guys enough with what you have done for me. I felt like an absolute failure last time we spoke and then I got the cards and also the card just before Father's Day, it all really lifted me. The chat was probably the best thing at that time and I realised that I'm not on my own and I will get through it all. Probably gave me the boost of hope and real talk that I needed. The chat was about real stuff that was happening and I knew there was no judgement and that no matter what happened it was all going to be OK eventually. I can't thank you enough. Really pulled me out of a dark place so thank you."
Western Australian Farmer
"Thank you all very much for your support and much needed help which you gave us. We are so grateful knowing "strangers" were helping us through hard times was heartwarming! Years of drought were hard enough, but to cop the devastating fire on top of that, was a real "kick in the guts". Hopefully some time in the future we can return you some support.
Once again, sincere thanks to you all. "
New South Wales Farming Family
"Just a note to thank you so much for the beautiful goodies you dropped off today. It was just like Christmas. It really was appreciated and a very big morale booster.
Thank you also for giving up your time to visit and deliver the goodies. You too have family that you are leaving behind whilst travelling. People like yourselves are very special. There maybe a lot of negativity in the world but acts of kindness like this make that negativity insignificant. From the bottom of our heart thank you. Travel safely."
" From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for your kindness and support during our ordeal.
You are a wonderful organisation that supports farmers during droughts, fires and other disasters and we are all so blessed and grateful that you care."
Much love, Victorian fire affected farming family
"If you ever wanted to know if you’re making a difference, you are, and take it from me. I would love to see how many farmers have stayed on their property because of you guys. It’s the bloodlines and genetics that Australia can’t afford to lose.
You guys are real Aussies and are doing what real Aussies need to be doing"
"OH my gosh, it’s so wonderful to hear from you, we are doing well, and the grass is green, the flood took out fences and a dam wall, but we are ok. The calls are amazing, and I love hearing from you and talking about life and having a laugh. It isn’t like talking to a person in a call centre, you are a real person and feels like I’m talking to an old friend. It just shows that we aren’t forgotten and that you still care all this time later. Thank you so much."