There are so many horrific stories from the bushfire zones but tales of hope and generosity are emerging too.

There are many people in the Narrabri Shire who have offered to lend a helping hand and AJ Stevens from Boggabri is one such person.

It all started with an inspiring 21-year-old who is setting out on the trip of a lifetime, giving up his own time, and money, to give back to heroic firefighters in a time of crisis.


Garth Lambert from Atherton, Queensland decided that he would jump into his ute with his mate Sean Campman and drive 2500 kilometres to host an Australia Day barbecue in Tumbarumba NSW, a town impacted by the devastating fires.

His idea was to provide a cold beer, cold water and a barbecue starting at 5am and going through to 9pm for the firefighters.

His local butchery donated 80 kilograms of sausages and another business donated 10 cases for beer.

Sean Campman, Garth Lambert and AJ Stevens outside Boggabri Meats. Photo supplied

However, when word spread Garth started out with $1500 worth of products and has been picking up more donations on his trip south.

AJ Stevens from Boggabri Meats told The Courier, “l just liked this bloke’s attitude. An honest, young, knock-about bloke trying to do something helpful.”

“I contacted him, and he called in Tuesday.”

“We have been holding barbecues on Saturday mornings outside the shop here in Boggabri and I was going to give the money to the Rural Fire Service but I figured that this was getting to the frontline and helping this guy.”

“Joanne Tailby opened up her home and Christmas light display for a gold coin donation.

“She made over $183 dollars to add to my funds. I spoke to Joanne and she was happy for me to support Garth.”

Garth and Sean already had a lot of sausages, so Boggabri Meats decided to donate $600 worth of products made up of 50 scotch fillets and $250 cash to refuel the ute.

Mr Stevens said, “Boggabri people have been a big part of this effort supporting the barbecues and we aim to keep those going in the future.

“As soon as the weather cools a bit, probably around March and the fire bans have been lifted, I intend holding more sausage sizzles.”

Unfortunately plans had to be changed at the last minute and the barbecue was set up at Captain’s Flat pub where a fundraiser was taking place for six small fire brigades and animal welfare places.

There was also a training day for the RFS in the town so it turned out to be a great opportunity to have something like this.

Garth said that Captain’s Flat rural brigade were overwhelmed with the distance travelled and the amount of goods they had to give them; over a pallet’s worth of water, 10 cartons of beer, electrolyte ice blocks and sachets and a few boxes of fruit, not to mention the barbecue.

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