@buyfromthebush founder given special honour

@buyfromthebush founder Grace Brennan to deliver 2020 Australia Day Address

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Grace Brennan will have a very special Australia Day this year.

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@buyfromthebush founder Grace Brennan has been given a very big honour this Australia Day. Photo: Rachael Lenehan Photography

@buyfromthebush founder Grace Brennan has been given a very big honour this Australia Day. Photo: Rachael Lenehan Photography

The founder of @buyfromthebush, Grace Brennan, will deliver the 2020 Australia Day Address next week following the global success of her social media campaign supporting rural communities in drought.

The Warren woman founded the @buyfromthebush account in October 2019, which has since gained more than 203,000 followers and driven much needed support to small businesses.

The Australia Day Address aims to reflect and celebrate the national spirit and has been delivered by social researchers, bestselling authors and internet sensations since 1997.

But this will be the first time a regional person has been selected for the address.

@BUYFROMTHEBUSH GOES VIRAL

At the heart of Ms Brennan's social media platform was bridging the city and country divide.

She said the address would be a new opportunity to tell a story of the bush that was more relevant than the one often told.

"Having grown up in the city (Sydney) and being able to absorb rural life as an outsider, I feel like I've got an opportunity to broadcast to everybody just how special rural communities are and the value that they hold to the Australian identity," she said.

"Just update that bush narrative and, within the context of drought and our current circumstance, avoid the usual rhetoric around the bush battler and celebrate what a rural modern community really is like.

"The coming together of the city and bush that's been evident through @buyfromthebush is certainly one that should be celebrated on a day like Australia Day."

The success of @buyfromthebush was driven by Ms Brennan alongside local Warren woman Millie Fisher and rural public relations expert George Robertson.

While Ms Brennan didn't expect their social media campaign would create the impact it did, she did have a strong sense that people were interested and engaged in hearing a message from the bush.

"It was pretty evident pretty early what power it held," she said.

"I wanted to take the opportunity to just showcase all the beautiful businesses I knew in small towns and give them access to new markets but also tell the story of drought in a slightly different way and show people that it's much more than a farmer in a paddock but it impacts the community at a more broader level and there is also incredible innovation and hard work occurring around it."

The 2020 Australia Day Address will be held on January 21.

This year communities across the state are being encouraged to come together on Australia Day and stand in solidarity with those affected by bushfires and drought.

Australia Day Council of NSW chair Andrew Parker said he was looking forward to the community recognising everything that was great about Australia.

"This year we want to bring people together to reflect and celebrate the Australian spirit and acknowledge the everyday Australians making a difference to our community. We stand arm in arm, with our mates and for our mates," he said.

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