Born and bred in Condobolin in NSW’s Central West, the performer spent the first 20 years of his life on a farm.
“We had two major droughts at our place over that time and the second one was the killer,” he tells New Idea.
“After losing our dad in a farming accident, my brothers and I tried to farm our way out of debt. But after no rain for two years running, we were financially ruined.”
Shannon reveals that in the harsh conditions, they were forced to leave the farm behind.
“As it was the start of a 10 year drought that we would have never made it through, 98 years of family on that farm was lost forever,” he says.
In the midst of the worst drought in 20 years, the 42-year-old calls for Australians to support the farmers in any way they can.
“I plead to the general public to open their eyes and give what they can to farmers going through the worst drought in Australian history,” he says.
“People on the land are spending every last cent they have to try and keep their stock alive. Until you have had to put an animal down because you can’t feed it, you will never know the feeling of loss and failure it brings.”
He adds that people in metropolitan areas will eventually feel the effects of the drought, too.
“Without our farmers, we lose everything — bread, milk, fruit, vegetables, meat, cotton for clothing and heck, even beer!” he says. “By the time it starts impacting on the people in the city, it will be too late, and we’ll be forced to buy produce from other countries.”
New Idea has teamed up with Drought Angels for our drought special, on sale now. 5 cents from issue sold goes towards to the organisation, which provides support to farmers suffering in the droughts.
You can donate to the Drought Angels