An outback tour operator hopes a weekend at the Roma Picnic Races in March will help bridge the city, country divide while also raising much needed funds for a rural charity.
Danny Sheehan of the Longreach based business, Sheehan Events, is flying 80 guests via a private charter from Brisbane to Roma for the Roma Picnic Races on March 16 and 17.
Guests will attend the Black Toyota Black Tie Ball at Roma’s Bassett Park on the Friday night and will be treated to some fine country hospitality at the race meeting on the Saturday before flying home on Sunday.
Funds raised will go towards Outback Futures - a not-for-profit organisation committed to providing allied health services in rural and remote Queensland.
The charity has recently provided professional psychology and counselling services around Queensland’s central west where there was a dire need according to Mr Sheehan.
“These guys only go to communities when they are invited and what they are doing is absolutely fantastic,” he said.
“They are all volunteers who come out and provide their professional services to people in real need.
“They are desperately trying to get some funding so we hope that we can help through this weekend in Roma.”
Outback Futures CEO, Selena Gomersall said the charity was delighted to have been named as the beneficiary.
“It’s a huge benefit to us and it means a lot when locals are advocating for the work that we do,” she said.
“Danny has been a big supporter because I think he recognises the need for these services in his own community and the communities he is so connected to.
“We’re currently rolling out services in the remote communities of the Central West because we were invited to go there by RAPAD (Remote Area Planning and Development).”
Mr Sheehan said providing easy access to evens such as the Roma Picnic Races for city dwellers also had benefits in terms of bridging the city, country divide.
He offered the same package last year and said several guests were returning for a second time.
“It exposes them to our way of life, they make new friends and it shows them what a great time we have in the bush,” he said.
“They also come out and spend their money which helps spread the benefit around.”
Ms Gomersall agrees.
“We’d urge people to get behind activities like this as they really help build connections between different communities,” she said.
A weekend package, twin share/double costs $949 per person. That includes return flights from Brisbane to Roma, airport transfers, two nights accommodation and entry to the all-inclusive Black Tie ball on Friday March 16. Guests also receive entry to the Roma Picnic Races on Saturday March 17, with a drinks package.
Contact Danny Sheehan on 0409 638 765 for more information.
For general information on the Roma Picnic Races please visit www.romaraces.org.au/