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11 November, 2020

Drought Angels founder named Queensland Local Hero

Natasha Johnston, the founder and director of Drought Angels which supports drought-stricken farming families, was named as the Queensland Local Hero.


Natasha Johnston

NATASHA Johnston, the founder and director of Drought Angels, which supports drought-stricken farming families, was named as the Queensland Local Hero at the annual Queensland Australian of the Year awards at a ceremony in Brisbane last night.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the awards acknowledge their outstanding commitment to making a positive difference to their communities, the state, the nation and the world. 

“This recognition also encourages us after a challenging year that a brighter future is always achievable with hard work, devotion and compassion,” she said. 

“There were four nominees in each of the four categories, and they all deserve our gratitude and admiration.” 

Drought Angels is a service that delivers care packages and financial assistance to thousands of drought-stricken farming families across Queensland and New South Wales. 

Natasha and her friend Nicki Blackwell were inspired to help after hearing stories of farmers struggling to put food on the table. 

After loading a ute with supplies to take to one family in 2014, they soon started responding to calls for assistance from other families in urgent need. 

Drought Angels is a unique service that provides a listening ear in addition to financial assistance and food hampers. 

This personalised support is a lifeline for farmers who often don’t reach out for help. 

Natasha’s work plays a vital role in reducing rates of depression and suicide, as well as helping to keep farmers on their land. 

“Queensland’s Local Hero award for Natasha Johnston reflects her hard work and dedication with Drought Angels, delivering care packages and financial support to thousands of farming families across Queensland and New South Wales,” the Premier said. 

“This is a lifeline for farmers enduring drought conditions. 

“Natasha’s work is helping to keep them on their land and is also helping to address the rate of suicide and depression.” 

The Queensland Australian of the Year recipients will now represent the state at the national awards. 


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