A rural wedding photographer has given away $15,000 after a picture she took in drought-stricken western Queensland went viral.
The picture features the bridal party of Ross Uebergang and Ingrid Wood on their wedding day walking across a dusty claypan cricket pitch at Blackall, in the state’s central west.
In the week leading up to the wedding, the bride’s family destocked final numbers on their 16,187-hectare beef property near Blackall.
So moved by the community resilience while shooting the wedding earlier this month, the well-known photographer took to Facebook to generate awareness and funds for a rural mental health organisation.
On Monday at 8pm, photographer Edwina Robertson posted on her Facebook page an offer to personally pledge $3 to the Tie Up the Black Dog (TUBD) organisation for every share of the picture within 24 hours.
The photo went viral, receiving 4974 shares and reaching 430,000 people on the social media network.
Rural wedding photographer Edwina Robertson.
Speaking to Queensland Country Life on Tuesday night, Ms Robertson said she was “overwhelmed” by the response the post had received, but was insistent she was true to her word having already set up and transferred her donation into a crowd funding account.
She admitted she initially expected the post to receive a top of 1000 shares, equalling a $3000 donation.
When the numbers soared past that, Ms Robertson could feel the “the heart palpitations going pretty fast”.
“I thought I might have to take a small mortgage out to pay this,” she laughed.
“But all jokes aside, this donation is for a really worthwhile cause and I’m honoured that so many people have been touched by this story and even if it is just for one person, this is only one donation, but with the help of a lot of people this can really help out.”
Ms Robertson said she chose the TUBD as her benefactor – an organisation of three volunteers based in Goondiwindi – because she’d heard of the work they’d done in rural regions right across Queensland.
“I think mental health is still such a huge, huge, huge issue in our community and it’s not something that people are talking about openly enough,” Ms Robertson said.
“It’s so real. You can’t help the drought go away, but you can deal with a potential effect of the drought.”
Mary Woods, Mary Carrigan and Liz Wood are the three women behind Tie Up the Black Dog (TUBD) based in Goondiwindi.
Mary Carrigan is one of the founders of the TUBD.
She too, didn’t expect the post to take of the way it did and took to social media to publicly thank Ms Robertson.
“What an amazing gesture by this wonderful girl, Edwina Robertson to the Tie Up The Black Dog committee,” Ms Carrigan wrote.
“We are overwhelmed by such generosity and sharing of our site.
“The photographs she takes obviously speak for themselves with such originality shining through.
“Thank you to so many who have shared as the message of depression in rural communities is ongoing and needs to be spoken of often and helped and acknowledged by as many of us as possible.
“May your success continue Edwina - such generosity of spirit is rare and a great gift. Thank you.”