Rural charity founders awarded OAM

The late Brian Egan and his wife Nerida named in Australia Day honours

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Nerida and the late Brian Egan with their daughter Sam Price. Picture Sally Cripps.

Nerida and the late Brian Egan with their daughter Sam Price. Picture Sally Cripps.

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The late Brian Egan and his wife Nerida named in Australia Day honours.

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Founders of the rural charity Aussie Helpers, the late Brian Egan and his wife Nerida, have both been awarded Order of Australia medals in the Australia Day awards for service to people in rural areas through social welfare support programs.

The western Queensland-based couple set up Aussie Helpers in Charleville, in 2002.

Aussie Helpers was set up with a simple $20 raffle, but has since grown to become a major rural charity, with a focus on providing aid to struggling farmers.

Official Aussie Helpers statistics suggest it has helped more than 13,000 farming families through initiatives such as financial aid, supply donations, education support, mental health support and more.

Initiatives such as the Bush Kids education program and the Virtual Psychologist mental health support were two Aussie Helpers projects that received significant coverage.

While Mr Egan, who died in early January was the face of Aussie Helpers, Mrs Egan prefers to stay in the background, taking care of the charity's logistics and distributing donated goods, gift cards and cash.

"A typical day we make up food boxes, we organise toys for children, get bags of cosmetics and toiletries for mum and dad, washing powder ...," Mrs Egan said.

"Look, whatever we think they need, and we've got it, we share it."

Mrs Egan also lends an empathetic ear to those in need, and said she had fielded hundreds of calls, in particular from the wives of graziers.

As a result of the hard work of Aussie Helpers Team, including Mr and Mrs Egan have been given a multitude of Awards including an Order of the Outback Award 2014, the St George Community Award 2014 and the Regional Impact Award in 2014.

Mr Egan had also been the recipient of a great accolade of recognition by his peers including the Regional Achievers Awards and Community of the Year winner 2005, the Pride of Australia Medal Mateship finalist 2007, Senior QLD Australian of the Year 2008 and most recently and highly regarded the Australian of the Year Nomination for two years running in 2014 and 2015.

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