Australia’s Biggest Bush Dance, $150k raised for regional mental health
batyr teamed up with the NSW Positive Rugby Foundation and Macquarie Foundation to host Australia’s Biggest Bush Dance in Sydney. Around 200 people headed down to Martin Place in the early hours of the morning donning cowboy hats and flannos and doing their best bush stomp, boot scoot, line dance and everything in between. Getting amongst the fun and passing the footy around were NSW Waratahs legends and country boys Alex Newsome and Ned Hanigan. Sausage sangas were fried up and punters got to try their hand at the mechanical bull ride. She’s a harsh mistress. All donations raised from the event allow us to reach more drought-affected communities in regional NSW to continue the mental health conversation. More than $150,000 has been raised and counting, with every donation matched by batyr’s good friends at Macquarie. One in five Aussies will experience a mental health condition in any given year and the odds worsen for those living in regional areas. A person living in rural and remote NSW is twice as likely to die as a result of suicide as a person living in Sydney. Add to this the pressure of ongoing drought and loss of income on families, and it’s imperative that more needs to be done to support regional communities. Since 2018, batyr’s Get Talkin’ Tour has visited 22 towns and more than 3,000 people in regional locations across NSW, delivering educational mental health programs for young people and the wider community. Donations from this event will allow batyr to reach even more drought-stricken locations. “We are proud to be partnering with the NSW Positive Rugby Foundation to host Australia’s Biggest Bush Dance and make some noise all in support of regional communities really struggling with drought,” batyr CEO Nic Brown said. “We want to continue to provide mental health support, tools and resources to high schools and footy clubs in regional communities to make long-lasting connections and impact.” Alongside mental advocacy training, batyr works with NSW Positive Rugby to run footy training sessions, which really helps to bring these communities together and to start having positive mental health conversations.Head of the Positive Rugby Foundation Greg Mumm added that the Get Talkin’ Tour was providing tangible benefits to regional communities. “Rugby clubs are a cornerstone of the community and through batyr’s Get Talkin’ Tour, the NSW Positive Rugby Foundation has been able to provide mental health training and support in drought-affected communities, where it’s most needed,” he said. “We are pleased and grateful to once again have the support of the Macquarie Foundation which is generously matching all donations that are raised this week.” Australia’s Biggest Bush Dance follows last year’s world record breaking attempt to have the most number of people dressed in elephant onesies in one location. A total of 504 people donned elephant onesies all in the name of improving regional mental health outcomes and batyr is hoping for the same success this year.