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Western Ag defib project continues to support rural communities

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Chris Drew, Western AG Manager–Business Development, Nhill Free Press & Kaniva Times

Western Ag continued their Supporting Communities Campaign through 2023 and are pushing on in 2024, equipping more regional communities with potentially life-saving automated external defibrillators (AED).

The campaign, supported by Nufarm Australia, began in 2022 and at the end of 2023 had put 15 defibrillators into rural communities.

The project has started strong this year, with a further 14 defibs donated to Wimmera Southern Mallee Development which will be installed on the silo art trial in the West Wimmera, Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh and Buloke shires.

Western AG are a family-owned business who live and operate in the Western District, Central and North-East Victoria, Wimmera and South East South Australia and are passionate about the regions they live and operate in.

This passion is what led to the creation of a long-term community campaign that has meaningful outcomes for the rural communities they serve. Supporting Communities, an umbrella campaign, was born with the scope of funding community minded projects within Western AG’s geographical footprint.

Western AG Executive Manager–Business Development Chris Drew said the response to the campaign has been strong.

“Sudden Cardiac Arrest continues to be one of the leading causes of death in Australia and research shows greater survival rates are achieved if an AED is on hand. That is why this significant investment was made, to help survival rates of people living and working in our communities,” Mr Drew said.

“We have been able to put these AEDs into some remote communities that are significant driving distances from local hospitals. As much as we don’t want them to have to be used, the fact they are there could save a life and the communities they are in really appreciate that.”

One of those communities is Bordertown, just over the South Australian border, where an AED has been installed at Café Levie which is owned by local general practitioner Dr Remona Pungutan.

Dr Pungutan said the central location of the AED in town is essential.

“The fact is these machines can save lives,” Dr Pungutan said.

“For us at the café, we have people stopping in all the time and a lot of the community knows the AED is there and because they’re so easy to use, we know in an emergency anyone will be able to use it and it will save lives.”

More than $100,000 worth of defibs and associated equipment has been donated through the campaign to see 15 defibrillators to date installed in the following locations:

  1. Skipton Community Hub
  2. Western AG Kyneton
  3. Derrinallum Recreation Reserve
  4. Café Levie, Bordertown
  5. Tarrington Cricket Club
  6. Doyle’s IGA, Kaniva
  7. Goroke Recreation Reserve
  8. Rokewood Football Netball Club
  9. Nhill and District Sporting Club
  10. Naracoorte Shire Council (Community Sound Shell)
  11. Cressy Recreation Reserve
  12. Willaura Town Hall
  13. Waubra Country Women’s Association (CWA)
  14. Benalla Equestrian Centre
  15. Bannockburn Football Club

For more information, please contact Chris Drew, Western AG Manager–Business Development on 0477 526 655 or via email at

Nhill Free Press & Kaniva Times 21 February 2024

This article appeared in the Nhill Free Press & Kaniva Times, 21 February 2024.


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