I look back on the previous year and there is no doubt that our community has had its fair share of struggles.
The drought continues to cause a significant disruption to our economy while at the same time wrecking families' livelihoods.
In recent times bushfires have been raging, in some cases uncontrollably.
Our brave local RFS volunteers have been out battling bushfires every day.
In some cases travelling hundreds of kilometres in order to assist other communities who are also feeling the effects of a particularly harsh year.
There is no doubt it has been a tough 12 months.
What amazes me is the community's resilience despite of these challenges.
I wonder how on earth Dubbo can continue to thrive with near record unemployment and economic growth while at the same time being hit with these unprecedented challenges.
However, my curiosity quickly extinguishes once I consider exactly what kind of people we have in place here in our region.
With the drought, we know that our farmers are very tough.
And their resilience should be described as nothing less than miraculous.
A lot of the reason our farmers have been able to keep on keeping on is because of the community's generosity and determination to alongside them.
Last week I was asked to open the new Aussie Helpers depot here in Dubbo.
It was a genuine sense of community spirit and fighting back attitude that drives this organisation.
The food parcels and other essentials to maintain farmers during this time all organised by Aussie Helpers is clearly a testament to Australians who help one another in times of crisis.
To have an Aussie Helpers depot in Dubbo is certainly bittersweet.
It's certainly wonderful that Dubbo has such an organisation and facility.
But on the other hand it's terribly sad that they even have to exist in the first place.
This Christmas I am urging the community to get behind a charity that is on the ground fighting the good fight.
Aussie Helpers is a great organisation which I urge the Dubbo community to get behind.
For more information on Aussie Helpers and to donate, simply visit their website at www.aussiehelpers.org.au
Additionally, I am delighted Councillors chose to adopt my Mayoral Minute to provide sponsorship of $10,000 a year over the next two years to the Dubbo Farmers Markets.
The Farmers Markets are a fantastic social event and way of allowing people to buy fresh produce direct from the grower.
This will help them overcome the challenge of the drought.