To his legion of fans, Brendan Farrell epitomises what it means to be a true-blue Aussie.
In his trademark cut-off shirt, shorts, socks and work boots, this gruff truckie has been the driving force behind the well-known Burrumbuttock Hay Runners’ missions of mercy to drought-stricken farmers.
The man who insists he is not a hero is about to embark on his 13th hay run to Cunnamulla on January 26, 2018.
It’s perhaps fitting that the convoy of big rigs will hit the road on Australia Day.
While many of the country’s citizens will be enjoying the holiday celebration, Mr Farrell and an army of volunteers will roll up their sleeves to get on with the business of helping others.
“It is what Australia does – mates helping mates,” he said in a video udpate posted to the hay runners Facebook page at the start of January.
Mr Farrell said the convoy was sitting at about 150 trucks but he expected numbers to grow in coming weeks.
“Look I will say it, this run’s been difficult because I’ve had a lot of pressure on and a lot of things going on with me in the past six months ...” he said.
“You’ve just got to fight the demons, kick them in the guts and get them out.”
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Trucks are expected to gather at Darlington Point on January 25 in time for dinner, a catch-up and to fine-tune last-minute logistics.
The first truck will depart at 6am with a lunch stop at Cobar before venturing to Bourke and on to Cunnamulla mid-afternoon with on-farm drop-offs the following day.
Mr Farrell has called for these “bangers” to be draped in as much Australian paraphernalia as possible.
“I’ve got the old girl fired up – she’s getting a few tyres pumped up and a service.
“I’m smiling so let’s get this show on the road.”
In the lead-up to Australia Day, Mr Farrell urged fellow Aussies to explore the nation’s outback gems.
“If anyone gets the opportunity, grab a six-pack of beer and a fruit platter and go up to Captain Starlight’s lookout at Longreach to watch the sun go down,” he said.
“It absolutely is an eye-opener. It’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.
“Get out there to those little country towns; there are some great places out there.”