Leeton shire’s Brendan Farrell has shrugged off the news he has been named a finalist in the NSW Australian of the Year awards, preferring instead to get on with the job of helping others.
Mr Farrell was announced as a finalist in the NSW Local Hero section as part of the awards on Thursday morning for his development and continued success of the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners that help farmers in need.
However, he said while he was pleased to be nominated, he felt there were others more worthy.
“It is good news, but there’s definitely other people out there that deserve the recognition before me,” Mr Farrell said.
“I just do what I do because I enjoy helping people.
“Four years ago there wasn’t anything like this happening and we weren’t looking after each other, our neighbours or anything like that, I was able to give everyone a bit of a kick up the back side and with a lot of hard work we’ve been able to support farmers during desperate times.”
The wider Australian community pushed for Mr Farrell’s nomination as part of the awards, with a Facebook page – Brendan Farrell for Australian of the Year – receiving close to 32,000 likes.
Mr Farrell said the best part about being listed as a finalist was further word would get out about the organisation and what it does.
“It’s good more and more people are aware of what we’re doing,” he said.
It is good news, but there’s definitely other people out there that deserve the recognition before me.
“Whenever we do a run we get a lot of publicity.
“The last one reached something like 800 million people through all the social media posts, news and that sort of thing.
“This weekend alone there’s 40 fundraisers for the hay runners (happening throughout Australia).
“Everyone wants me to be there, but unfortunately it’s just not possible, but we certainly appreciate their support.
“We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without all the donations.
“The best part is people are really getting behind us all of the time. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
The Local Hero Award recipients will be announced on November 7 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. The winners will then join recipients from all other states and territories as finalists for the national awards, which will be held in Canberra on January 25.