North West gets a dose of comic relief

Damian Callinan

Communities across northern NSW grappling with severe storms and flooding, on top of the crippling impacts of drought, bushfire and COVID-19, will soon receive a dose of much-needed comic relief, along with access to health and rural financial advice, at free community events.

The What a Relief! tour, proudly presented by the National Drought and Flood Agency, will travel to 10 small towns and villages including the Currabubula Memorial Hall on Thursday 7th April.

The events will feature multi-award-winning comedian, actor, screenwriter and storyteller, Damian Callinan. Damian is no stranger to the north west, following his successful tour in February 2020.

In addition to a dose of comedy, the events will include access to primary healthcare nurses from HealthWISE, counsellors from the Rural Financial Counselling Service, co-ordinators from the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program and mental health clinicians from Northern NSW Local Health District.

The Drought and Flood Agency’s Regional Recovery Officer for North NSW Sandy McNaughton will also be on hand to discuss drought and other Government support, including applications for $500 Rotary debit cards which will be available at the event.

Each event will include a free community barbecue.

“These disasters have left their mark on northern NSW communities and while we have a focus on recovery, it is equally important we look after people’s mental health,” Sandy said.

Damian is perhaps best known for his award-winning feature film The Merger, which has screened to great acclaim around the world, before making its debut on Netflix in January. Set against the backdrop of a small rural town grappling with drought and the closure of its mill, the film has won accolades and hearts both in Australia and internationally.

“This is a great opportunity to experience a comedian of Damian’s calibre as he shines a light on the local landscape with his unique form of stand-up,” Sandy said.

What a Relief! will be an opportunity for community members to get together in local halls to enjoy some fabulous humour in these challenging times and share a meal in good company.”

To attend the free event at Currabubula, RSVP here.

Further information is available on the National Drought and Flood website.

Tour Dates

Date Town Venue
7 April
Currabubula
Currabubula Memorial Hall
8 April
Barraba
Barraba RSL Memorial Hall
9 April
Bellata
Bellata Memorial Hall
10 April
Gum Flat
Gum Flat Hall
13 April
Liston
Liston Hall
14 April
Bonalbo
Bonalbo Hall
15 April
Mallanganee
Mallanganee Hall
16 April
Ewingar
Ewingar Hall
17 April
Lawrence
Lawrence Public Hall
18 April
Copmanhurst
Copmanhurst Memorial Hall

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