Liston gets a dose of comic relief

Damian Callinan.

Damian Callinan.

Communities across northern NSW grappling with flooding, on top of the crippling impacts of drought, bushfire and COVID-19, will soon receive a dose of much-needed comic relief, along with access to health and rural financial advice, at free community events.

The What a Relief! tour, proudly presented by the National Drought and Flood Agency, will travel to 10 small towns and villages, including the Liston Hall on Tuesday 13th April at 6pm.


The free events will feature multi-award-winning comedian, actor, screenwriter and storyteller, Damian Callinan. Damian is no stranger to the north west, following his successful tour in February 2020.

In addition to a dose of comedy, the events will include access to counsellors from the Rural Financial Counselling Service, co-ordinators from the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program, primary healthcare nurses from Healthwise, and mental health clinicians from Northern NSW Local Health District.

The Drought and Flood Agency's Regional Recovery Officer for North NSW, Sandy McNaughton, will also be on hand to discuss drought and other Government support, including applications for $500 Rotary debit cards for eligible primary producers, farm workers and contractors.

"These disasters have left their mark on northern NSW communities and while we have a focus on recovery, it is equally important we look after people's mental health," Sandy said.

Damian is perhaps best known for his award-winning feature film The Merger which has screened to great acclaim around the world, before making its debut on Netflix in January. Set against the backdrop of a small rural town grappling with drought and the closure of its mill, the film has won accolades and hearts both in Australia and internationally.

amian is best known to television and film audiences for his roles on Skithouse, Before the Game and Backyard Ashes. He has made regular appearances on Spicks and Specks, The Project, Rove and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala.

It is his love for working in rural Australia and his ability to capture the eccentricities of individual communities that brings Damian on the What a Relief! tour. He is currently appearing in his award-winning comedy The Wine Bluffs at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

"This is a great opportunity to experience a comedian of Damian's calibre as he shines a light on the local landscape with his unique form of stand-up," Sandy said.

"What a Relief! will be an opportunity for community members to get together in local halls to enjoy some fabulous humour in these challenging times and share a meal in good company."

Each event will include a free community barbecue. To attend the free event at Liston, RSVP to: Trish on (07) 4686 1188 or Carolyn on 0448 097 450.

Further information is available on the National Drought and Flood website www.droughtandflood.gov.au.