Queensland hotel launches ‘pay it forward’ initiative for struggling truckies

A Queensland hotel is looking out for struggling truckies with a new “pay it forward” initiative.  

Priscilla Meli, who owns the Oasis Exchange Hotel Torrens Creek on the Flinders Highway, now offers guests and diners the opportunity to purchase a meal for a truckie as a gesture of kindness. 

Meli told Big Rigs that she wanted to provide a way for people to say thank you to the drivers who keep our country going. 

“We’ve had drivers tell us they are doing it tough,” she said. 

“One driver I was speaking to recently said he has a budget of $200 to go from Townsville to Perth and back. 

“Inspired by an idea I saw on social media, we made a ‘pay it forward’ board so that any driver a bit pinched for cash can get a beer and a good feed.”

The “pay it forward” board showing various dockets from the past week. Image: Priscilla Meli

Anyone who would like to buy a meal or a drink for a truckie can pay for it at the till. The docket is then stuck to a board, where any drivers who are short of cash that week can grab it and hand it in at the bar.

“Drivers will be fed and watered and then when they are in a better spot, they can pay it forward and throw something on the board for someone else,” Meli added. 

The hotel proprietor has only been running the initiative for a week, and already has two rump steaks, two beers, chicken nuggets and a large chips and gravy on the board.  

“Not bad for a week when both sides of the highway have been closed due to weather!” she added.

“They’ve all been paid for by kind people wanting to say thanks to our truckies and make their lives a bit easier.”

The Oasis Hotel, which boasts a restaurant, cafe, pub, motel and caravan park as well as hotel rooms, is already known for being truckie-friendly.

They offer truckies 10% off pub meals, free tea and coffee, and free showers open 24/7.


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