Kevin and Margaret Johnston, Nambour

17 September 2011

β€œTo date we have spent a number of months each year – in the cooler months – on grazing properties and farms between Dalby and west of Charleville.  Kevin has mustered cattle and sheep, painted a kitchen, tiled bathrooms and even used a bulldozer to clear irrigation channels, while Margaret has cleaned house, developed rose gardens, rejuvenated house and vegetable gardens, pruned orchards, entertained youngsters and provided very important company for the women.  If there is just one aspect of volunteering which hits home, it is the absolute isolation for the girls.  Sure, they have the telephone and most times a twice weekly mail service, but popping out for coffee means taking lunch to your husband at the cattle yards, and rather than putting on your makeup, it's insect repellant you are applying to keep the flies at bay!

We feel the benefits flow on from the physical efforts of the volunteers, in the form of lasting friendships we have formed with the families who were strangers on arrival and firm friends as we left a few weeks later.  The strength of these relationships has confirmed for us the importance of lending a hand and making a difference.”