The Rotary Club of Sydney Rural Community Support Programme

The Rotary Club of Sydney Rural Community Support Programme

Drought, fire and floods – supporting farmers and rural communities

The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners (BHR) and the Rotary Club of Sydney (RCS) continue to support rural communities. Since 2014 the inspiring leadership of Brendan Farrell, OAM, has marshaled donations from businesses, Rotary Clubs, other organisations and supporters for fuel to move donated hay, and sometimes the purchase of hay, to feed drought affected livestock. For volunteer drivers and supporters the Hay Runs are not just about delivering supplies, but about looking after the mental health of struggling farmers. Personal contact saves lives in country areas.

They’re not just providing hay. They’re bringing festivity, good wishes, all this to our community,

Armidale Mayor Simon Murray


The BHR’s have also been able to meet urgent requests for hay delivery in times of national emergencies; in 2019 sending 120 trucks loaded with hay to feed cattle and horses stranded on high ground following floods in NE Queensland and in 2020 a total of 54 trucks delivered hay to help feed breeding stock who survived the devastating fires in Victoria; only small contributions in national disasters but we were glad to be able to help.




The Rotary Club of Sydney Rural Community Support Programme was established in 2014. This Programme has enabled the Club to continue to do what it has always done: partner with others in the community in Achieving for Others*. To date the programme has delivered outcomes for people who need help in rural NSW, Queensland and Victoria. Money is raised and spent in partnership with other organisations; our major partner is the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners. (*Brian Fletcher The Rotary Club of Sydney 1921-2005 Achieving for Others)


Not just hay runs

The Hay Runners and the Club have also assembled donations to back the:

  • Western Division Resilient Landscapes Project in partnership with Soils for Life.
  • Australian Rotary Health Mental Health First Aid Courses and Mental Health support for truck drivers.
  • The Royal Flying Doctor Service.
  • Hair and makeups artists working with remote students at the Longreach School of the Air musical production just as they do for city students.
  • Muttaburra State School and the Muttaburra Amateur Swim Club (AKA Mudskippers) and the RCS was also one of the sponsors of a Bourke High School students’ excursion to Japan.
  • Christmas hampers for rural families in financial stress.
  • Rural families going through difficult financial times, some needing a small helping hand and some lifesaving surgery.

An Australian Story:

How fantastic is this portrait!? It’s the founder of Burrumbuttock Hay Runners founder, Brendan Farrell, who created a solution to deliver hay to drought-affected farmers.


Artist Sarah Molony-Singleton will enter the piece in this year’s Archibald Prize.

The Rotary Club of Sydney has managed donations and payment of invoices for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners since their establishment in 2014.
To make a donation by your Paypal account or credit cards go to: donate by EFT to our designated Rural Community Support Appeal bank account:

Account: Rotary Club of Sydney.
Bank: CBA  BSB: 062 438  Account No: 10211156
We can also take donations by cheque to:
RCS Rural Support Appeal GPO Box 1523 Sydney 2001.

Administration is done by volunteers at the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners and the Rotary Club of Sydney. The Rotary Club of Sydney cannot provide tax deductible receipts for donations as the RCS Rural Community Support Account does not have Deductible Gift Recipient status. The Australian Taxation Office or your accountant will be able to advise if you can claim a taxation deduction on other grounds.