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Kids dress their best for drought-affected farmers

Lucy Barbour, Tuesday December 17, 2013 - 10:30 EDT
ABC image
Principal of the Southern Cross Early Childhood School, in Canberra, Jennie Bailey and students have donned boots, hats and checked shirts to raise money for drought-affected farmers. - ABC
ABC image
Students from the Southern Cross Early Childhood School, in Canberra, dressed and ready to fundraise for drought-affected farmers in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. - ABC

An early childhood school in Canberra is giving drought-affected farmers a big Christmas present this year.

It’s raised more than $500 to buy hay bales for graziers in far west New South Wales and in Queensland.

About 350 children from the Southern Cross Early Childhood School have dressed up as farmers for the day and brought along a gold coin donation as part of the 'buy a bale' initiative.

The school's principal, Jennie Bailey, says the idea came about after a colleague showed her photographs of bare paddocks in Roma, in Queensland.

"They were just absolutely barren, with no feed for the cattle or the horses," she said.

"And then we saw this 'buy a bale' day come up and we thought, 'What a fantastic way to support our Aussie, Australian fellows'."

Ms Bailey says the response from the school community has been "overwhelming".

"All the children today are dressed up as farmers and that was, of course, just a fun day but really raising the profile of our farming community in their time of need."

Eight-year-old Brianna has made herself a special hat with corks dangling from the brim.

She thinks primary school students who live in the city need to spend more time learning about drought.

"I don't think they all know what farmers are actually going through because some children don't listen and they just worry about the city," she said.

Every $20 raised buys another bale of hay for drought-affected farmers. Brianna is hoping her gold coin donation will be a big help.

Five-year-old Ryan is equally as passionate.

"Farmers can't grow food because they haven't got any rain, so if they don't buy food, their animals will die and we won't have any milk or plants or anything," he said.

Ryan says it makes him feel "sad" when he thinks that farmers don't have enough food for their livestock.

"If a farmer was in this room and it was sad, then I would give it a big hug."

Six-year-old Michael hopes Santa is kind to all the drought-affected farmers in Australia this year.

"Have a good Christmas and I hope you get lots of money to buy food for your animals."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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