By Keer Moriarty, as published in Beaudesert Bulletin, Friday 16 July 2021
Dave Goeldner and his 15 year old daughter, Cassie, will embark on the journey of a lifetime to help farmers affected by drought.
Dave and Cassie will join the ‘Long Drive for Drought’ on 27 August – a 3,000 kilometre journey across Western Queensland with 28 other Toyota Landcruiser 40 Series enthusiasts.
The Long Drive for Drought was founded in 2019 by Brent Reeman in Brisbane, after being inspired to do something positive outside of the work he was doing with drought impacted communities across Queensland.
With 65 per cent of Queensland still drought affected, Dave was inspired to join the Drive after seeing it on The Great South East.
“I said to my wife, Sue, I’d like to do something and she said, “Well why don’t you?”
The group will travel in convoy through the Burnett region, Central and Central Western Queensland.
Long Drive for Drought raised $52,000 in 2020 and this year the group aims to raise $80,000.
They have partnered with Australian charity Drought Angels, a small charity who offer personalised support given to each family. Through direct personal contact with the farmers, Drought Angels have earned a reputation for providing personalised, heartfelt and discreet assistance.
Drought Angels has come to understand that those who they help are often those who are not normally inclined to reach out and battle it alone, which can lead to severe depression and in some cases suicide, something Dave acknowledges.
“They’ve got drought, no food and dying stock. We’re having a good season here. We look out the window and think the drought isn’t on. Well it is still on and we need to be made aware of it again.”
“They’re tough people,
but some of them don’t
make it either.”
In 2018, Dave was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. Following aggressive treatment, he
is now in remission and sees this as an opportunity to give back.
“I’d been through a bit of a hard time with health issues and people helped me out then and I thought this is a good opportunity to help someone else.”
The iconic 40 Series Landcruisers were chosen because of their association with rural Australia.
It is hoped the sight of the 28 restored vehicles will also raise awareness of drought amongst the rest of Australia.
Participants are responsible for their own travel costs, which ensures all donations go to Drought Angels.
To donate to Long Drive for Drought, visit longdrivefordrought.com.au.