‘Ashamed to be Australian’? You will be after reading this

“SOMETIMES I feel ashamed to be Australian”.

Those are the words Brian Egan never thought he’d say. But after more than a decade, travelling thousands of kilometres across Queensland, his heart is breaking over the demise of our great land.

Here in the city, we know little of what he is talking about. But Australia’s back bone is breaking.


Our farmers and their families are suffering. They have been for a long time.

Brian knows because he’s been there.

“My wife, Nerida, and I lost our property through drought and I was in a deep depression. I was in hospital for 12 months,” Brian tells myGC.

“My psychologist told me the only way I could fight it was to find someone who was worse off than me and help them.”

Brian Egan and his wife Nerida founded Aussie Helpers in 2002. Image: Aussie Helpers

Brian Egan and his wife Nerida founded Aussie Helpers in 2002.
Image: Aussie Helpers

Two years later Brian and Nerida began Aussie Helpers. With just $20 they started going to the aid of farmers.

But they didn’t just drop money off and walk away.

From their first visit and the hundreds since, the incredible, lifesaving couple and a group of tireless volunteers have sat down at kitchen tables and given desperate farmers someone to talk to and a shoulder to lean on.

Aussie Helpers is on the ground seven days a week. There are no weekends or holidays.

Image: Aussie Helpers

Image: Aussie Helpers

“Depression is rife. In the past six months we’ve flown about 18 or 19 psychologists out to the farms. And we pay for all this, the government doesn’t help us.”

There are currently seven Drought Coordinators employed by the Federal Government to travel throughout all the drought affected areas of Australia.

Five are dedicated to Queensland and NSW, two others were deployed on July 1 to assist regions of South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria.

The Human Services website explains the are “to meet with service providers, attend community events and facilitate coordinated support to farmers and their families”.

A request to talk to Federal Member for Fadden and Minister for Human Services, Stuart Robert, was unable to be met.

Meanwhile, Brian has a countless number of heartbreaking stories about how this terrible Aussie shame is affecting future generations: of children hanging out to enjoy their ‘favourite cereal’ as their only birthday gift; of children praying for rain ‘to stop mummy from crying’.

This is happening in our own backyard.

“People feel like second class citizens. They call themselves the ‘forgotten people’, that’s how bad it is,” Brian says.

“We grow the best food in the world. Unfortunately they’re just not supported and sometimes I feel ashamed to be Australian. Because if you don’t believe in farming you don’t believe in the future. It’s as simple as that.”


Head to the Aussie Helpers website to see how you can help a Queensland farming family this Christmas.

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We should make a stand boycott fireworks this new years to provide the money for all Australians in need farmers, homeless, elderly etc. One night without fireworks wont kill me and the money wasted could do so much for our own. Its a start….

This is not the first I have heard about the desperate plight of the farmers.
Would there be any chance of enlisting a large corporation to at least start some sort of collection of food and/or money to assist you in your endeavours?

That’s a stupid comment that am sick of hearing. If you are ashamed to be Australian. Try somewhere else.

We in the US feel your pain, as our government would do the same to us in Ag.

I keep telling people who will listen that we need our farmers, not IT, or other sitting professionals who only make money. there will come a time when we will only have the paper money is printed on to eat. Money is needed for the economy, but FARMERS, be it animal, vegetable etc. they are more important than pen pushers. ?? ?.

I would like the outbackers to know they are NOT a forgotten people….there are many of us (maybe it’s a small percentage amongst Millions) ….who are VERY much on their side and care VERY much about their welfare . I am almost 72yrs of age , originally from the UK (20 + yrs) and though I live on a Pension I have been supporting these Charities for over 3 years now….Buy a Bale , Drought Angels, Aussie Helpers etc as much as I can but still I WISH I could do more …..as well as praying for rain !! Please keep up your VALUABLE work Brian and all the nameless Volunteer Angels……I’m sure all will come good eventually even though Government does such Miniscule effort to help !? xx PS I cannot believe and am in total AWE of the strength/fortitude of the outback people !? 🙂 🙂

Well, when we consider that only last month George Bender committed suicide due to CSG exploration on his land and the Conservatives prostituting themselves to coal mining companies, Australia has much to answer for. Australian lives and livelihoods are being destroyed by these arrogant giants and that is something over which Australia has some control. Just the same as failing to act on climate change will worsen droughts and increase farmers’ suffering.

We spend billions of.dollars on dysfunctional countries and their stupid eternal wars and yet can’t help our own Shame shame shame!