Why would anyone want to jump out of a perfectly good plane? When it’s for a great cause!
Members of the Hillman Farm Skydiving Club Inc are set to skydive down at sunset at Darkan Sheepfest, Saturday 8th February and are planning to go ‘blue’ to highlight and support the ‘Blue Tree Project’.
Jodie King, Darkan Sheepfest committee member and instigator of the special skydiving event is thrilled that it is all happening for the show –
“How lucky are we to live in a community with so much to offer. This is part of why I volunteer as we just love showcasing what we have in our own paddock. We can’t wait to go blue for the Blue Tree Project and raise much needed awareness for mental health. Our volunteers, shearers and even some of our sheep will be wearing blue at Sheepfest this year. Hamish Campbell and the crew from the Hillman Farm Skydiving Club with their can-do attitude has made a difficult idea easy. We can’t wait to see them paint the sky blue to remind us that it’s ok not to be ok!
All the logistics have been carefully managed; so, everyone will see the skydivers all drop in. It’ll be a challenging jump for the skydivers used to their usual vast paddock drop-zone but it’s all been carefully put together by Darkan farmer and Hillman Skydiving Club President, Hamish Campbell, who was more than happy be involved with Sheepfest and coordinate the jump. Hamish said:
“Hillman Farm skydiving club can be a great diversion from the pressures of farming, just like any football club. Skydiving’s such a close international community, it’s really as safe as the jumper decides to make it and it opens a lot of doors and builds networks all over the world – even being in a shire as rural as West Arthur. We’re really lucky to have the facilities of Hillman here in Darkan and the support we have from the Harrington’s who own the farm. We would encourage anyone interested to get involved and contact us via our Facebook page “Hillman Farm Skydiving Club.”
As exhilarating as skydiving may be, at the other end of the spectrum is how exhausting mental health is. Factor in the isolation and the ‘tough’ country façade we seem to still find ourselves in, fixing mental health in the rural Australia continues to be a constant uphill battle.
Kendall Whyte represents the ‘Blue Tree Project’ and is the sister of Jayden, who painted the first tree blue as a practical joke, prior to taking his own life. Kendall says –
“We appreciate any effort in helping spread the Blue Tree Project message. Hopefully together we can work to create a healthier countryside. We want everyone to see the blue trees to remember yet make a difference to prevent others going through the same pain.”
Watching skydivers fall at the Darkan Town Oval, won’t be the first time for some. Many shearers returning for the reunion, would also pull their footy boots on to fill the local West Arthur Bulldogs team. The skydivers jump was a feature for the footy grand final held several decades ago.
Last minute details are being finalised for Darkan Sheepfest, including some great entries uploaded on their Facebook page for the ‘Best Pet Sheep’ competition. The Shearers and Shed Staff Reunion continues to receive RSVP’s right across WA with some even planning to travel from the Eastern States. Nominations continue for the Sport Shear and Wool Handing Competitions and the Farm Boot Foot Race looks to be bigger and better than the last.
But for most visitors, whilst all the events are entertaining, being able to spend the day in the country, talking to locals and seeing sheep and wool up close is what they like about Darkan Sheepfest the best.
All that, and Darkan Sheepfest gate entry is only a gold coin donation!
For further information or other high-res images please contact Karlene Goss at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0428 361 366.
Hillman Farm Skydivers more than happy to be ‘blue’ and drop down at Darkan Sheepfest
Photo Credit: Genevieve Cooper – Joy of Colour Media
Committee members, Jodie King and Karlene Goss, with the novel albeit ‘oat-itchy’ roadside Darkan Sheepfest wool bales.
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