Host: Undoolya Station
Written by Nikita Hayes
The Herd Of Hope is a team of 6 stock men and women who visited Sydney on horseback with a herd of Australian Poll Hereford cattle in March this year. Each of the riders has been directly connected to a life-changing organ transplant and the cattle drive was to promote organ donation across Australia, and support regional transplant care and services. All the funds raised through the Herd of Hope have gone and will go towards areas identified by recent University of South Australia research. These include establishing regional transplant and donor family care nurses and providing therapy for families and recipients.
Did you know? …
- Around 1,400 people are on Australian organ transplant waiting lists at any time.
- In 2017, 510 deceased organ donors and their families gave 1,402 Australians a new chance in life.
- Waiting times are usually between six months and four years but there are cases where the recipient must wait even longer. There is a strong awareness that in most cases the longer the delay in receiving a transplant, the greater the risk of deteriorating health.
Herd Of Hope is not only for the families receiving a transplant but also for the families giving, so many families and friends have had a someone donate their organs or do a tissue transplant.
In Australia, cattle have always been associated with hope. 200 years ago we used to put cattle on the roads in the hope of that they’d be able to make it through a drought. One of the first fleets to Australia contained a herd of cattle, in hope of our first colonies survival. Australia relies heavily on the agricultural industry, which brings economic growth and supports this country and the world in times of need.
Each heifer in the herd was hand picked by Ben Hayes and his family. These girls give people the opportunity to be apart of our cause by sponsoring the heifers participation in any Herd of Hope event – donors are given the naming rights of the heifers.
The amazing team that were on horse back down at Bondi Beach were.
Head of Department Cattle Drive
Jim started his incredible career working with livestock before he could talk growing up on station properties across Australia. Jim has worked on such productions as The Lighthorsemen, We of the Never Never, McLeods Daughters, and most recently Sweet Country. Jim’s connection is Megan, his daughter and founder, who received a double transplant. Having sat by her bed watching her recover from her second chance at life he is grateful that a complete stranger in Megan’s donor kept his family here. Jim is also a live donor having donated bone marrow after surgery.
DAVID “CHARGE” MESSENGER
Charge received a kidney transplant 16 years ago from his sister as a live donor. He is a true Aussie hero having shown that illness can’t tie you down. Having grown up on a property in the mid-north of SA, this kind hearted larrikin proudly gets to walk his daughter down the isle next year.
The idea started here! Megan received a double transplant (kidney/pancreas) in 2010. A month later she met her husband Mark and they have two kiddies, Sam and Ella. Why cattle? It’s what she knows and what her family does best. Having grown up with type one diabetes in rural SA, Megan can vouch for the importance of health services in country areas let alone the absolute gratitude to get an organ transplant. Wanting to show the positive effect organ and tissue donation has had in Australia, what better way than rounding everyone up on one of our nations most iconic landmarks?
Heart of gold! The type of man you want as a mate. Steve received a heart transplant 10 years ago and it hasn’t let that slow him down. He calls home Scone, NSW home and has several Australian championships and the hearts of many for his determination and good will.
All around the top end in the Northern Territory, people know this lady for her kindness and support for people from all walks of life. Working with young Indigenous people through the Indigenous Land Council, Gina sees first hand the need for rural health services. Gina has had many cousins that have experienced kidney failure. She rides with hope to unite everyone from Broome to Bega!
Undoolya Station is the home of this all round top bloke! A legend to this cattle drive as 30 of the Herd he bred! The always smiling stockmen knows first hand the change needed in the bush for health services. Ben Hayes and the Herd Of Hope team are excited to be having a few families out to Undoolya Station for a retreat, a place were the families of the receivers get the chance to meet some of the donor families, and share their stories.
To be a donor you must be over the age of 16, and heres how you can do it.
You can register online through: