“Australians are a rare breed,” says Wild Turkey’s Creative Director Matthew McConaughey. “When adversity hits them, they come back twice as strong.”

It was recognising this that led the Academy Award winner to the Wild Turkey With Thanks initiative, that shines a light on Australian Local Legends who have stood with conviction supporting their environment and communities throughout the crises of 2020.

Since visiting in November 2019 to launch the Wild Turkey With Thanks platform, an initiative designed to protect and preserve the wilderness for future generations, McConaughey witnessed the unparalleled year Australians have experienced. From the pandemic coupled with the earlier catastrophic bushfires and floods, McConaughey felt driven to speak to locals who have moving stories of resilience.

These stories include Dana and Sam Mitchell rescuing over 600 koalas on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, Lin Baird navigating a difficult year to once again help Australians reconnect with the wilderness on horseback in Mount Bogong, Victoria, and Linda and Matthew Rudd who saved their 100-year-old pub from the bushfires while being the lifeline for the town of Batlow, New South Wales.

“I know from personal experience, Australians get their grit from the land,” McConaughey said. “These Local Legends drew strength from nature in order to protect it from one of the worst bushfire seasons on record, and I want everyone to know their stories.

“It’s thanks to them that the Aussie wilderness and their communities remain for us all to connect with. From their mission to mine, I want to give thanks and support these Legends in my work with Wild Turkey.”

Helping preserve and regenerate the wilderness for future generations is a central part of Wild Turkey’s ongoing work on the With Thanks initiative. A percentage of proceeds from Wild Turkey’s cabin, The Reserve, and Wild Turkey bottles sold in November and December will be donated to the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife in support of bushfire regeneration.

The charity partner of Australia’s National Parks, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is working towards a five-year plan to plant one million trees in bushfire-affected regions around Australia to restore the habitat that was lost in the catastrophic bushfires.

Paolo Marinoni, Marketing Director, Campari Australia and New Zealand said: “Through all that 2020 has thrown at us, from bushfire-ravaged parks, droughts, floods and a pandemic – it has shown that Australia is a nation of resilience. Through the With Thanks initiative this year, we are thanking the Local Legends who have stood with conviction and sheer determination throughout the crises of 2020. We often turn to nature in times of adversity and we hope that by giving thanks and shining a light on these people and regions it encourages Australians to support the regeneration of the wilderness and visit fire-affected regions.”

McConaughey continued: “When Mother Nature hit us with her worst, we saw humanity at its best. Now is a prominent time in our history where we can explore our own place to restore the wilderness that restores us.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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