By HARRY CLARKE
MONEY raised for country folk in need by one of the Brisbane financial district’s most iconic charity and social events has notched up close to $6 million, as the annual Morgans Big Dry Friday marks its sixth year of fundraising and celebration.
Eagle St in the Queensland capital’s CBD resembled a rodeo arena Friday morning as the company Morgans, a leading Australian stockbroking, wealth management and corporate advice firm, launched Big Dry Friday for 2023.
Concrete cowboys and cowgirls made $20 donations to test their skills on a mechanical bull that was set up beside a barbecue breakfast for Brisbane’s finance professionals as they arrived for work on Eagle St.
Among the willing rough stock riders was Morgans chief financial officer Karyn Ferguson (pictured), a Morgans employee of 14 years who said the company’s annual initiative to generate funds for rural charities was always well supported by Queensland’s finance industry.
“Big Dry Friday started in 2018 during the height of the drought and we wanted to support those people in the country who were struggling,” Ferguson said.
“It started off as one Big Dry Friday event in Brisbane – a bull riding barbecue breakfast and moving into a big lunch going in the afternoon, bringing a lot of the community together, celebrating and helping those that were in need.”
Now Morgans offices around Australia hold fundraising initiatives for several weeks each year leading up to the Big Dry Friday event.
At least $1 million tallied up so far in 2023 adds to the $4.7 million total generated over the previous five years.
“We really love partnering with regional charities and getting the money out there into the regions. It moves each year to support what our rural and regional communities need,” Ferguson said.
“We’re a stockbroking firm but we like to have fun. We’ve had people riding the bull who are actually from rural Queensland and it’s great to be connecting and having a bit of fun.”
Big Dry Friday culminates with a long lunch on the banks of the Brisbane River at functions venue Events on Oxlade at New Farm, where thousands more was expected to be raised through a live auction.
More than 360 guests were expected to attend.