Farrer students offer help to Cassilis fire victims

HELPERS: Taine Nash, Gerry Sheridan, John Drenkahn and Isaac Devine of Farrer are offering help to fire victims. Photo: Peter Hardin 200217PHA06
HELPERS: Taine Nash, Gerry Sheridan, John Drenkahn and Isaac Devine of Farrer are offering help to fire victims. Photo: Peter Hardin 200217PHA06

STUDENTS from a Tamworth school are leading the charge to offer assistance to those affected by bush fires in the state’s central west.

Senior students from Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School will travel to Cassilis in the coming weeks, where they’ve offered to fix fences destroyed by raging bush fires earlier in the month.

The project was sparked by a group of local agriculture teachers, who heard of the devastation in the area.

“We had a meeting with a couple of Ag teachers and one of the project officers from the (Education) Department comes from Cassilis,” retired teacher Graeme Harris said.

“The fire came within two kilometres of his home. We thought we’d like to get involved and provide assistance to people in that area.”

Mr Harris said the support that followed the decision was far-reaching, with the NSW Association of Agriculture teachers helping to hatch a crowd funding plan to buy the fencing materials needed. A host of other schools are also getting behind the project.

“They’ve contacted a number of people down there that are affected and are drawing up a list to identify the people that need assistance as a priority,” Mr Harris said.

”The money that we can raise from crowd funding will be then used to purchase materials.

“We’ve also been working with Clipex here in Tamworth to make a proposal to the manufacturers to deliver the materials on site.” 

Mr Harris said the cause had already been assisted, with donations from the Rotary Club of Tamworth on Peel.

“We have a whole range of partners involved in this and are negotiating a financial institution to handle the funds through an account which doesn’t have high fees,” he said.

“Initially this started with Farrer students and then it has expanded to other schools.

“Staff will be taking the students down to assist on weekends, but other schools might be doing in during the week. We wanted to take students in year 11 and 12, who already had experience with fencing.”