It was a massive weekend for Qantas, with the Flying Roo hosting the Hay Mate drought relief concert in Tamworth to raise much-needed funds for drought-stricken communities.

Fundraising charter flight QF 1360 touched down over the weekend, packed with passengers attending the drought relief concert and another surprise. A cargo hold packed a whopping 650kg of pet food.

The edible cargo will be a welcome surprise for the hard-working farm dogs in the region.

According to the Northern Daily Leader, Qantas Captain Gary McKenzie volunteered his time to pilot the fundraising flight, which pooled $55,000 for Rural Aid, because this drought hit close to home.

“I was born and raised in Tamworth, I’ve seen first-hand how resilient and proud country people are but this extended drought is truly crippling”.

, Qantas Captain Gary McKenzie

“It’s not just about helping financially, it’s about showing regional communities, not just in Tamworth but all around Australia, that we are both aware and we care,” he said.

Farmers across the region have been struggling to keep their livestock alive and farms afloat in the driest 18 months since records began in 1900.

All proceeds from the weekend’s Hey Mate concert will go directly to Australian charity Rural Aid to purchase hay bales, water, fuel and groceries for farmers and fund counsellors for rural communities.

The concert saw emotional performances by Australian music legends including John Farnham, Daryl Braithwaite and Guy Sebastian at Scully Park in Tamworth.


Join us in congratulating Qantas on their great work.