Mulga Rats and Gidgee Brats gear up to party in Yaraka
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 email@example.com.
EXCITED: Tiffany Davey is one of the main drivers behind the Mulga Rats and Gidgee Brats B&S.