It all began in January 2014…Natasha Johnston & Nicki Blackwell, co-workers from Chinchilla, heard stories of struggling farmers who could not afford to put food on their own tables due to the ongoing drought.
They knew they had to do something to help these families, so they organised a fundraising event…raising enough money to assist one family.
Drought Angels was born!
How it all started
Tash & Nicki would load up a ute and trailer and head off whenever possible to deliver to farming families in need, having no real idea of the impact they were having…until they started receiving heartfelt letters of gratitude – motivating them to continue their mission to support Aussie farmers.
Through an auspice agreement with Chinchilla Family Support Centre, they were originally known as Chinchilla Community Drought Fundraiser 2014. After about 6 months, realising this was going to keep going, they settled on the name Drought Angels and continued to raise awareness of the plight of Aussie Farmers in the face of drought and natural disasters, delivering their personalised and heartfelt assistance through farm visits and Rural Day Off (RDO) events throughout rural Queensland.
On 15th July 2016, Drought Angels Ltd was formed and became a registered charity listed with the ACNC. Tash & Nicki became Executive Directors and Tash’s friend of 22 years Jenny Gailey joined them as a Non-Executive Director.
In August 2017 Nicki found love in Western Queensland; following her heart she made the difficult decision to leave behind the cherished charity she had co-founded. Upon Nicki’s departure, Jenny stepped up as Executive Director assuming the role of Chief Operations Officer. Tash’s husband, Steele Johnston, then became a Non-Executive Director.
Having outgrown the back yard, they moved into a small warehouse, opening the Hidden Treasures Charity Shop in October 2016. In April 2018 they moved once more to the current Drought Angels HQ at 29 Malduf Street Chinchilla where the charity shop, warehousing, and office staff all called home.
In September 2021 Drought Angels opened a Brisbane office in Virginia Qld to enable greater collaboration with corporate supporters and regionally-based volunteers.
Drought Angels have humbly received recognition and awards from the local community for simply fulfilling our Purpose. We are grateful for all of our supporters funding our work and voting for us.
2022 Community Achievement Awards
- Bendigo Bank Community Group of the Year – Semi Finalist
2021 Australian of the Year Awards
- Queensland Local Hero – Nominee Natasha Johnston
2021 Community Achievement Awards
- Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award – Semi Finalist
- Awards Australia Community Group of the Year – Nominee
- Couriermail & Sunday Mail – Queenslander of the Year
2016 Community Achievement Awards
- Australia Pacific LNG Regional Service Award – Finalist
- MOA Benchmarking People’s Choice Award – Winner