Look out for your mates

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OUR farmers are doing it tough. With the ongoing drought and rising price of water, many throughout the region are suffering, not just financially, but emotionally, as well.

Look Over the Farm Gate is a call to action for rural communities to look out for one another and promote social inclusion. The initiative was developed in 2015 in response to the drought in northwest Victoria and extended in 2016 to areas affected by the dairy crisis.

The aim of Look Over the Farm Gate is to increase mental health awareness, support rural communities in building resilience and encouraging local action to keep an eye out on each other.

Farmers, community groups and local government facing drought throughout the region are being encouraged to apply for grants of up to $1,500 to run social events and community initiatives that bring together neighbours and the community to relax and spend the night off the farm with some friends.

Think creatively, because only you know what your community needs. It could be anything from a barbecue and comedy night, regular fitness meet-ups in the park, or a family movie night.

Applications are still being accepted and are assessed on a first-in, best-dressed basis. For more information about eligibility and how to apply, visit www.lookoverthefarmgate.org.au