The Travelling Jackaroo parks up in Shepparton

By Deanne Jeffers

THERE was an air of excitement at the MOVE Museum last week as Sam Hughes, better known as the Travelling Jackaroo, made a stop in Shepparton. Accompanied by his faithful rescue dog, Bitsa, 21-year-old Sam has been journeying across Australia since 2021, travelling in an unmistakable 1960 Chamberlain 9G tractor named Slim. This tractor is far from ordinary; it’s adorned with all manner of Australiana, including trucker caps, a small plane, gyrocopter, and even a boat.

Since leaving his hometown of Maleny on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast at age 18, Sam has raised an incredible $250,000 for charities such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Dolly’s Dream, and Farm Angels. His mission goes beyond fundraising; he is passionate about raising awareness for mental health, particularly in rural communities.

“Mental health is an important conversation, and people need to be reminded to speak up and also to go and check up on your mates,” Sam said. “I’m trying to break the stigma of not talking about it. A lot of blokes, women too, but especially blokes, they don’t want to talk about mental health.”

STRONG SUPPORT… Sam Hughes, known throughout the country as The Travelling Jackaroo for his fantastic efforts travelling the country and raising funds and awareness for rural health and mental health causes, found himself in Shepparton last week. Many well-wishers visited MOVE Museum to see his impressive rig, named Slim and to donate to his mission. Photo: Deanne Jeffers

Sam’s journey, which has spanned over three and a half years and over 24,000 kilometres, at a comfortable 45 km/hr, brought him to Shepparton for the first time. Locals eagerly came out to meet the Travelling Jackaroo, see his remarkable tractor, and donate to his worthy cause. Some recognised him from his online profile (which has amassed 246,000 followers on Facebook!), some had met Sam before on their own travels, while others were excited to finally thank him in person and contribute to his mission.

After experiencing mechanical issues travelling from Seymour to Shepparton, Aerodrome Automotive and Shepparton Carby generously offered a helping hand to get him back on the road. The MOVE Museum also allowed Sam to camp out while he was in town, and the Furphy Museum within MOVE has donated an iconic Furphy water cart lid to Sam’s forthcoming auction.

Since leaving the area, Sam has said, “Shepparton would have to be my favourite town in Victoria, the people are friendly and welcoming.”

If you missed seeing The Travelling Jackaroo in Shepparton, you can follow his journey online at