A familiar face of the Australian stage and screen is packing his bags and hitting the road for a long-awaited regional comedy tour proudly presented by the National Recovery and Resilience Agency.

Damian Callinan, best known for roles on Skithouse, Before the Game, Backyard Ashes and his regular appearances on Spicks and Specks, The Project and the Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala will perform 10 shows across regional New South Wales this month.

Damian is travelling to the region on the back of his sell-out season at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

He is also the screenwriter and star of the smash-hit feature film The Merger, the number one Australian film streaming on Netflix.

The What a Relief! Tour is set to deliver some much needed belly laughs for communities after a challenging few years.

NRRA co-ordinator general Shane Stone said many in NSW had been grappling with drought, floods, bushfires, mouse plague, as well as COVID-19, and it can take a toll on people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

“We know, through our experiences helping communities through recovery, that when you’re doing it tough, it’s vitally important to come together as a community, unwind and enjoy some downtime together,” Mr Stone said.

“While we focus on recovery, it’s important to take care of mental wellbeing as well.”

Community members will be able to chat with NRRA’s local recovery support officer, Sandy McNaughton; talk to a rural financial counsellor, representatives from the Rural Adversity

Mental Health Program, as well as other support services.

Applications for $500 Rotary debit cards, to be spent locally, will also be available.

“This is an incredibly rare opportunity to experience a comedian of Damian’s calibre. What a Relief! will unite community members in local halls to enjoy some much-needed humour in these challenging times, share a meal in good company, and perhaps get some extra support if they need it, as well,” Ms McNaughton said.

To attend your free local What a Relief! event, RSVP to [email protected] or contact 0408 499 306.

Patrons are able to bring their own drinks and nibbles to the functions.

Function dates are as follows:
Nullamanna, Nullamanna Hall, May 18, 6pm, Croppa Creek, Croppa Creek Hall, May 19, 6pm, Pallamallawa, Pallamallawa Hall, May 20, 7pm, Burren Junction, Burren Junction School of Arts, May 21, 7pm, Yarrie Lake, Yarrie Lake Hall, May 22, 6pm, Wee Waa, Wee Waa Bowling Club, May 25, 6pm, Walgett, Walgett Showground, Leonard Pavilion, May 26, 6pm, Carinda, Carinda Memorial Hall, May 27, 7pm, Marthaguy, Marthaguy Hall, May 28, 7pm, Gulargambone, Gulargambone Hall, May 29, 6pm.

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