Mulga Rats and Gidgee Brats gear up to party in Yaraka

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

IN THE out­back town of Yaraka, there are usu­ally only 11 peo­ple kick­ing about.

But come Novem­ber 25, there will be bach­e­lors and spin­sters as far as the eye can see, all gath­ered in the town 220km south of Lon­greach for a good cause.

The Mulga Rats and Gidgee Brats Bach­e­lor and Spin­sters Ball was held for the first time in 25 years last year when a group of lo­cal young peo­ple de­cided to cre­ate an event which would see funds raised for the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice while work­ing to “Tie Up the Black Dog”.

This year it is back again. Orig­i­nally bach­e­lor and spin­sters balls pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity for those in iso­lated ar­eas to net­work with other sin­gles.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber and Yaraka lo­cal, Tif­fany Davey, said they still in­tended to do just that, but also wanted to raise aware­ness about the ef­fect men­tal ill­ness has on re­gional and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties.

“With the statis­tics as­so­ci­ated with men­tal health sky high for re­gional ar­eas in Queens­land, par­tic­u­larly among men, the orig­i­nal idea for the B&S was to cre­ate an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to es­cape the pres­sure of the on­go­ing drought while fundrais­ing to sup­port ex­ist­ing men­tal health or­gan­i­sa­tions

that di­rectly ben­e­fit the peo­ple in the re­gion,” she said.

“An­other key driver was con­quer­ing the sec­ond drought cru­ci­fy­ing out­back Queens­land – the love drought.”

Funds raised at the ball this year – through ticket sales, sin­gles auc­tions, speed dat­ing and more – will go to the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice again.

“Over 350 peo­ple con­gre­gated to last year’s B&S ball with the young at heart com­ing to re-live their Yaraka ball days and some com­ing from as far as Western Aus­tralia. The ex­cite­ment is brew­ing for this year’s 18+ event,” Ms Davey said.

“100 per cent profit from the ‘sin­gles bulls and bells auc­tion’ is go­ing to­wards the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice and the fi­nal fig­ure matched dol­lar for dol­lar by the B&S com­mit­tee do­nated to Tie Up the Black Dog.

“This pro­vided the per­fect in­cen­tive for men and women to nom­i­nate to get auc­tioned off for a dance.

“Due to the in­flux of nom­i­na­tions in 2016 the com­mit­tee is also in­tro­duc­ing a ‘speed date to meet a mate’ ser­vice to the line-up of ac­tiv­i­ties in 2017 to as­sist all from far and wide in find­ing love.”

Ms Davey said the event was also prov­ing to be a pop­u­lar way for young peo­ple to get in­volved with their com­mu­nity, an is­sue that is af­fect­ing many re­gional com­mu­ni­ties across Aus­tralia.

“It pro­vides lead­er­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties with a young tar­get au­di­ence in mind, plus the sup­port re­quired in teach­ing peo­ple the skills re­quired for be­ing on a com­mit­tee and run­ning a fundrais­ing event,” she said.

“This method is prov­ing to be suc­cess­ful, with other balls in the works run by a younger de­mo­graphic ap­pear­ing across Queens­land.”

For tick­ets, head to the Mulga Rats and Gidgee Brats BnS Ball Face­book page or email yarak­abns@gmail.com.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

EX­CITED: Tif­fany Davey is one of the main driv­ers be­hind the Mulga Rats and Gidgee Brats B&S.

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