Qantas is following in Chimu Adventure’s charitable shoes by donating $3 million to provide relief to Australia’s drought-affected farming communities.

An initial $1 million cash will be donated by Qantas to Rural Aid, followed by another $1 million to be raised through Qantas and Jetstar appeals. The Flying Kangaroo then match fundraising efforts, with the aim of reaching a total $3 million donation by the end of 2018.

Rural Aid will be able to use the donation to fund hay bales, water trucking, groceries and mental health counsellors for farming communities struggling to survive the worst drought conditions parts of Australia have seen in decades.

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Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce said the worsening drought had triggered the national carrier to quickly develop a support package in addition to what it already does in regional Australia.

“Qantas started in the outback. Many of our staff live there and we have a lot of farming families who supply everything from beef to broccoli that we serve customers. We feel we have a duty to help these communities who are doing it so tough.”

Alan Joyce, Qantas Chief Executive

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The airline’s fundraising activities will include two special fundraising charter flights from Sydney to Longreach and Tamworth in October, which will be operated by volunteer crew with revenue given directly to Rural Aid (tickets are on sale now).

Qantas Frequent Flyers can use their Points to support farmers, and the airline will support its employees to join Rural Aid’s Farm Rescue program and volunteer their time repairing farming equipment, fixing homes and building fences on rural properties around Australia.

Other initiatives include placing Rural Aid collection barrels in lounges and at Qantas and Jetstar gates for customers, and a formal partnership with Rural Aid to provide flights for representatives to travel to regional communities.

 

Do you know any farmers who are struggling in the drought?