SETTING up stockyards in a hurry is a taxing task, which is why the organisers of the Herd of Hope charity cattle drive at Bondi Beach are calling for the help of families touched by organ donation.
Families of both organ donors and organ recipients are invited to help set up the yards at Bondi Beach on the afternoon before the Herd of Hope’s Saturday morning cattle drive.
“It’s not going to be a strenuous job,” said event organiser and double organ transplant recipient Megan Willoughby.
“Many hands make light work. You’ll be guided by cattlemen and women and the yards just go up like lego.”
The Herd of Hope is raising funds, awareness and support for services to the families and loved ones of organ donors as well as transplant recipients, which are sadly lacking across rural and regional Australia.
“The Herd of Hope is about inclusiveness, teamwork and support,” Megan said.
“What better way to celebrate the achievements of organ donor and recipient families do than come down to Bondi, help set up the yards and see them used the next day for a great cause.”
The Hayes family of Undoolya Station in the Northern Territory donated 30 Poll Hereford heifers for the cattle drive.
A team of stockmen on horseback will drive the heifers along the promenade and onto southern end of the beach.
Gina Howard, from the Indigenous Land Corporation, runs training for indigenous youths in stock handling and management will be at Bondi to support the cause and help handle the cattle.
“I was honoured to be invited to help out and be part of this journey,” Gina said.
“It’s great to raise awareness and for people in the city to hear stories from remote areas, where people can struggle to get even basic health services.
“We need to get the message out there, about the struggles that people have to go through to get transplants and the importance of being a donor.”
Of the 74,000 deaths that occurred in 2015, 920 resulted in organ transplants. Australia ranks 22 in international organ donation rates, one of the lowest for a developed nation.
Sick people in the bush are hundreds or event thousands of kilometres from expert care. Those awaiting transplants may be forced to relocate to major cities, to be close to transplant facilities at major hospitals when organs become available.
People and businesses can sponsor heifers in the cattle drive, or they can donate to the overall cause.
The cattle drive is set for the morning of Saturday March 17. The yards will go up the day before, beginning at 2pm, Friday March 16.
As well as promoting organ donation, the event will muster support for research with the University of South Australia to develop counselling services for organ donor families and transplant care nurses in the bush to guide organ recipients through the challenging recovery process.
The Herd of Hope will be a family-focused affair kicking off in the morning, with a country breakfast cook up and the best of the ag industries showing off where our food comes from, as well as a petting-zoo for little ones.