Draft strengthens connections in Winton

Community stories: 27 July 2021

In north west Queensland, there is a town called Winton. For the last seven years the town has battled the worst drought they have ever seen. To make matters worse, flooding in early 2020 ravaged the town even further, with the loss of thousands of livestock and damage to much of the surrounding area. This kind of devastation, understandably, created immense financial stress and anxiety for the residents and businesses of Winton.

To lift community spirits, the Diamantina Rodeo and Campdraft Association (DRCA) wanted to hold their annual Campdraft, an event where horse and rider combine to work cattle, but with financial pressures, it was touch and go. With the help of a $20,000 Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) grant, they were able to make it a reality. The three-day event brought together crowds from surrounding towns to watch and compete in the Draft in a show of resilience and support for the local businesses of Winton.

The Draft provided a rare opportunity for families and friends to come together to enjoy a night of sport, food and music – a welcome distraction from the grief caused by the last few years. 

The funding covered the major costs for the event, including complying with regulations such as having an ambulance presence, as well as the costs to keep all animals safe and happy. Additionally, the DRCA organised DJs and extra entertainment for attendees over the three days. 

The success of the annual Draft means the DRCA will be in a better situation when it comes time to organise the next event. A committee member said:

“Without this funding we would not have been able to run our annual event, so this was a great achievement not only for our organisation but the whole community.”