MEMBER for New England, Barnaby Joyce has congratulated the organisers of the Drought Buster Barbecue at the Walgett Showgrounds on Saturday night.
Mr Joyce said the work of the Tamworth-based organising committee had resulted in a fantastic night of socialising, of friends getting together and people making new friends.
Unable to attend the event, because of his part in a trade delegation to the Middle East, Mr Joyce said the importance of the night could not be overlooked.
He also congratulated the input of groups like the informal one headed by Sydney-sider, Meg Thomas, from the suburb of Bellrose who drove to Walgett with 80 hampers put together by her friends from donations of more than $6000.
Ms Thomas, who is a school friend of the Walgett Shire Mayor’s wife, Annie Murray, said she originally hailed from Junee and attending the event had been a “real highlight” for her.
Other donations included vouchers intended for spending within the Walgett community which, in turn would help to support local businesses.
Also mingling with the crowd was former television personality turned painter Ernie Dingo who, with his own, laconic style of humour managed to raise plenty of laughs.
One of the organisers, Bill Caley from Tamworth said the night was not about suits and speeches just introductions and having conversations.
He estimated there were 350 to 400 people at the informal gathering.
Below: Tamworth’s Bill Caley with Dr Lydia Bennett, Belinda Williams and Ernie Dingo.
Above: Sydney psychologist, Dr Lydia Bennett, Fergus Fitzsimons, Centacare New England North West [back], with Sam and Jenny Bailey of Croppa Creek.