Sydney uni students give Rathdowney a big lift

STUDENTS from the University of Technology in Sydney arrived at Rathdowney yesterday for their final stop on a volunteering tour across regional NSW and Queensland.

The students are celebrating the 10th year of The Big Lift, a student-run volunteer organisation founded on the "pay it forward" philosophy, with the 80 students visiting five towns in two busloads.

The "blue bus" arrived in Rathdowney with 40 students ready to put in the time and effort to get odd jobs done at the primary school and around the town.

Group co-ordinator Joy Mitra said the group enjoyed dinner, which was provided by the Rathdowney State School P&C.

"We had sausages and rissoles with mash and gravy and lots of people said it was the best dinner they'd had so far," she said.

"People have been so friendly and sweet, even when we tried to wash up after dinner last night they told us not to worry about it.

"Today we have done a bit of gardening as well as painting some furniture at the school and some poles at the Pony Club."

The group camped overnight at the primary school and after a morning of hard graft, the students were treated to some more country hospital with a picnic lunch at the Rathdowney Memorial Grounds.

Lunch was prepared and served by members of the Memorial Grounds Committee and treasurer Pam Hardgrave, said it had been a pleasure to meet the students.

"The P&C gave them a lovely hot meal last night and they all loved it," Ms Hardgrave said.

"It has been a great experience for everyone, they are all very lovely young people."