Great Australian Cattle Drive aims to hit the ‘long paddock’ for great charity cause

Beef Central, 24/02/2023

AT least 1000 donated cattle could hit the Queensland stock route later this year as a core part of a fantastic new fundraising initiative designed to feed the needy across Australia.

The Great Australian Charity Cattle Drive launched in Brisbane today is a BeefBank Queensland initiative to raise funds to feed those less fortunate. Beefbank has a target of providing 2.5 million plus beef-based meals annually for Queenslanders in need. Statistics show that one Australian in six now suffer from food security issues weekly.

The inaugural event, which is planned to commence around August, will centre around a cattle drive of a herd of at least 1000 head of donated cattle from Longreach to Roma.

After around ten weeks on the ‘long paddock’ travelling 700km, the cattle will arrive in Roma and be sold via a charity auction. Other donated cattle may be added to the herd in Roma, without participating in the drive itself.

Should the project achieve its objective, it will generate at least $1.5 million in proceeds from the cattle sale, delivering 2.5 million beef meals for the Beefbank program.

Already a number of large pastoral entities, both corporate and private, as well as professional service providers have committed to the project in principal. More details about who will be involved and how others can donate or participate in the project will come in separate stories to follow in coming weeks.

Charity Drive chairman Bim Struss, who also sits on the Beefbank board, said the germ of the idea came from Beefbank chairman Andrew Rodgers in October last year.

The concept quickly took root, and was officially launched during a gathering in Brisbane this afternoon.

“This project will be a great way to raise awareness of the problem with food security across Australia,” Mr Struss said.

“The beef industry has by-and-large had three very good years, and the project provides a perfect platform to give back to the broader community, after itself receiving fantastic community support during the 2019-20 drought,” Mr Struss said.

He said the plan was to gather a herd of backgrounder type steers averaging 300-350kg from various donors at Longreach for the start of the drive. It’s hoped trucking and fuel companies and others may provide support to aggregate cattle in Longreach, from across northern Australia, for the start of the drive.

Older readers may remember the 1988 Bicentennial year cattle drive from Cloncurry to Longreach, which raised funds for RFDS and other charities as part of the official opening of the Longreach Stockmans Hall of Fame.

During today’s launch, Beefbank chairman Andrew Rodgers said the beef harvested from a single beast could provide a meal for 2500 needy people.

“A small donation from a beef producer can have a massive impact at the other end,” he said.

Cattle drive chairman Bim Struss addresses today’s launch in Brisbane

Mr Rodgers said there was a natural synergy between the beef industry and Beefbank, and he would like to think it could become the ‘charity of choice’ for some cattle producers.

The BeefBank charity’s sole purpose is to provide beef to Foodbank Australia and FareShare, which in turn distribute to hundreds of charitable organisations feeding the homeless and disadvantaged.

As well as the cattle drive and auction itself, a host of support activities are being planned, raising further funds for use by BeefBank to purchase the beef needed to meet the growing demand for protein to address food insecurity in both metropolitan and regional communities.

“The event is designed to be a unique, beef industry and agribusiness sector industry driven, collaborative, multi-level contribution and very practical fundraising initiative,” event director Roger Desailly said.

“It will improve the lives of tens of thousands of Australians who are struggling to afford quality, nutritious food. It will also serve to raise awareness of food inequity issues, especially in remote and regional areas and engage with and profile the wider beef industry as a supporter of charities helping people in need, and producers of the best beef in the world.”

BeefBank and its distribution food charity partners Foodbank and FareShare will leverage the funds raised through the event, to create a controlled supply pipeline of nutritious meals for Queenslanders in need.

The event organisers also plan to showcase the unique outback lifestyle, tourism experiences and scenery along the route though a media campaign and possibly a documentary, as well as hosting a number of associated entertainment and hospitality experiences and events as a part of the cattle drive.

There will also be opportunities for supporters, sponsors, partners and the public to participate in and experience the cattle drive itself.

The organisers are now seeking to engage with cattle operators, both corporate and private, community groups or individuals who may wish to donate or contribute in some way to the event.

Opportunities for individuals outside the beef industry to buy a single beast to add to the drive are also being explored. More details will come later, following an official launch.

  • Beef Central is a foundation sponsor and official media partner of the event.
  • Note the charity website address in the logo above is not yet active. We will flag the address with readers once it is operating.


Cattle Drive chairman Bim Struss, left, with Steve Drury and Paul Tully from the North Australian Pastoral Co at today’s launch.



Cameron Gascoyne from Clayton Utz and Bernadette Ditchfield, deputy director general of the Department of Ag, with Great Australian Charity Cattle Drive event director Roger Desailly, left

Agribusiness lawyers Clayton Utz hosted today’s charity drive launch in their Brisbane boardroom




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  1. sharon lea okeefe, 20/03/2023

    also hav other teenage grandchildren who r good horsemen and women from longreach who would like to com part of the way also look forward to more details

  2. sharon lea okeefe, 20/03/2023

    would like to take my grandson 12 yrs of age to work pat of the way we hav our own van an i would help w the cooking for the experience look forward to further details

  3. Peter Dunn, 01/03/2023

    Well done, well done and well done. What else can be said, other than wishing every success.

  4. Alex McDonald, 27/02/2023

    Congratulations Bim Struss and all of the supporters of this great initiative

  5. Paul Brown, 27/02/2023

    What a great charity to get behind. How can we help? Can’t find the webpage on a goggle search.
    Well done to all involved

    Paul Brown
    Wallace Creek, Qld

    Thanks for your comment Paul. The website is still being constructed. We’ll add the web address in coming articles about progress. Editor

    • Roger Barry Desailly, 03/03/2023

      Paul – Thanks for your support.
      If you go to now you will see contact details for the Charity Cattle Drive Working Group, and we will be more than happy to give you more information about how you can support the initiative.
      Roger Desailly

  6. Rob Moore, 27/02/2023

    Had in the past often wondered how to donate meat off our own stock and get it to the likes of “Foodbank” and into the bellies of the less fortunate.Especially so when our live animals were worth about $500 and that retailed at about $3000+ over the counter.
    Logistically- it was impossible untill I read about this great idea.Very true about all the generous support that we received from the general public during all those low prices and drought years.
    Here is our chance to donate at least one beast a year for those otherwise couldn’t afford it

  7. ROYCE WILLIAM DUNN, 27/02/2023

    This seems like a very worthy cause. My wife & I would like to be involved it the drive itself. Do the organizers need stockmen for the drive & back-up people. We could supply our own horses and the means of transportation.

  8. Craig Benjamin, 26/02/2023

    I would like to be on the drive – it’s a great idea
    Drove cattle when I worked at Longreach.

    There’s talk of making spaces available for outsiders to join the drive for a day or two along the way, as part of a paid “Droving Experience.”
    We’ll provide updates on this, when we know more. Editor

  9. David Connellan, 25/02/2023

    Great initiative. I look forward to getting involved – please keep us updated on progress.

  10. Bim Struss, 24/02/2023

    Our sincere thanks to Clayton Utz for hosting the Great Australian Charity Cattle Drive launch today at their offices in Brisbane. An extrodinary venue with views up and down the Brisbane River from the 28th floor, Riparian Plaza, and an excellent fillet steak prepared by the inhouse chefs.
    Thanks to Caitlin McConnel who is on the GACCD working committee, and was MC and managed the day with not a stone left unturned.

  11. Jill rodgers, 24/02/2023

    I’m looking forward to taking part & supporting this iniative.

    • Anthony (Bim) Struss, 27/02/2023

      Thanks Mrs Rodgers.
      We will have a quiet horse for you.

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