Nominate your flood hero here
Winton Shire Council has announced their Aussie Heroes program today, recognising those who have gone above and beyond for their communities throughout the Queensland flood crisis.
The council has expanded the capacity for the community-owned event Winton’s Way Out West Fest held across the ANZAC Day weekend and will work with local councils and authorities across northern Queensland to find, recognise and honour our Aussie heroes with free tickets and camping at the event and a special main stage presentation where the community can come together to say thanks for their efforts over these trying times.
The public are also invited to share their stories and nominate their own Aussie Heroes for the program.
With their own farmers devastated by the natural disaster, the Winton community are pulling together to provide mateship for their surrounding districts across northern Queensland and offering up the festival as a meeting place to heal. The event has also announced a new partnership with Queensland Health and Beyond Blue to provide safe spaces, counselling services and assistance at the event for those who need it.
“The last few weeks have been a very trying time for Queensland and there’s so many weeks, months and even years ahead of cleaning up properties and getting people back on their feet,” said Winton Mayor Gavin Baskett. “The mental scars will take longer to heal and it will be in a few months’ time when the news reports start to fade and people have to get back to their normal lives where our people will need the most support. We want Winton’s Way Out West Fest to be the place where we can come together, share the stories, honour those that have gone above and beyond and offer the community support that’s needed to Queensland’s heroes.”
A nomination process opens today, with the community asked to submit their Aussie unsung heroes to www.wintonswayoutwestfest.com.au/heroes , from which local councils will make the final decision on the allocation of tickets. Whether it’s tireless work to get feed to cattle, helicopter pilots and truckies, round-the-clock rescues of flooded residents, those helping strangers in the cleanup, opening a house to neighbours or simply random acts of kindness, Winton’s Way Out West Fest will bring together the very best of the Queensland spirit.
Winton will also welcome the 5 Aviation Regiment of the Australian Army, fresh from their work assisting flood victims to greet festival patrons in a special ANZAC Day commemoration. The Regiment has helped deliver over 43 tonnes of livestock feed around North-Western Queensland over the last month and looks forward to meeting the community at Winton’s Way Out West Fest.
“5 Aviation Regiment is proud to have supported our local QLD communities throughout the recent natural disaster. We were both privileged and humbled to be given the opportunity to work alongside local community leaders in order to ensure the delivery of critical provisions to our fellow Australians in need. We look forward to our continued support to local QLD communities through the commemoration of ANZAC day in Winton.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated Winton Shire Council for this initiative to help affected north western communities.
“When I announced 2019 Year of Outback Tourism back in December, it was to encourage people to visit our Outback communities doing it tough through drought,” she said.
“No one could have ever imagined the devastating impact of the floods and the impact on families and their livelihoods. People often ask me how they can help. Back the bush and book your next trip west.
Tourism can help carry communities through hardship and I promise you will never regret an Outback holiday. You’ll see some of the most beautiful landscapes and meet fun, colourful characters. Those memories will stay with you forever.”
Winton’s Way Out West Fest is a four-day event with music across over eight venues including two flagship nights of internationally renowned music, including Aussie superstars Amy Shark, Missy Higgins, John Williamson, Glenn Shorrock, Ross Wilson and San Cisco, along with North American country royalty Brett Eldredge, Jon Pardi and The Road Hammers.
The event is in its second year after a triumphant sell-out in 2018, creating a new meeting place for Queenslanders from all over the state to meet and participate in a true outback experience. Limited tickets for 2019 are still available at www.wintonswayoutwestfest.com.au.