Flooding Lismore, Wide Bay and Ballina: Honoring Everyday Heroes as Recovery Continues

Selfless heroes who have faced the devastating damage of floods in New South Wales and Queensland at home and at work have used the power and creativity of their people to help rebuild their communities.

Lismore was hit by a local attack. worst flood everfive people died in tragic events in February and March.

Six lives were lost in January and February in the Gympie, Mary Valley and wider Wide Bay areas.

In northern New South Wales, flooding inundated some areas for more than a week, affecting an estimated 500,000 people and causing losses of $5.134 billion, according to the Australian Insurance Council.

In Queensland, the most recent damage claim in the Gympie region, the state’s worst-hit area, exceeded $100 million.

While communities attempt to rebuild, the dedicated work of many volunteers aids recovery, deploying everything from diets and therapy to school programs that help children heal with nature. We had to deploy personnel.

When flooding hit the Northern Rivers earlier this year, News Corporation Australia announced a $1 million donation to hard-hit communities.

Our News In The Community program works with St. Vincent de Paul and other charities to allocate funds.

As part of that effort, News Corp donated a total of $200,000 to nine flood relief community initiatives and one flood-affected individual in the worst-hit area.

said Michael Miller, Executive Chairman of News Corp Australasia.

“Guided by the advice of our journalist Those of us who live and work in these communities believe these initiatives will be a practical aid in helping rebuild and restore their towns, businesses and many families. Undoubtedly, tougher challenges lie ahead, but our commitment to being there for these communities during difficult times remains steadfast. “

Penny Fowler, Community Ambassador for News Corp Australia, said: firsthand knowledge of the devastation And the horrific toll the floods have taken on their communities has endured.

“As a company, we are proud of our commitment from the beginning to support community projects run by locals for locals.

“Their feedback is essential to identifying those most in need and the programs (often run by unsung local heroes) that can positively impact their lives. is.”

Funds go to everyday heroes helping their communities, from schools in need of repair, to programs to build resilience, mental health support and other worthy causes.

Sports clubs in North Queensland were devastated by 2022’s devastating floods. gympie netball Drowning in $500,000 repair and rebuild bills.

The area’s 500 netball players are now split between the courts of two schools, Gympie State High School and Victory College.

As part of ongoing restoration, News Corporation Australia (NCA) donated $20,000 for the repair.

Meanwhile, an elderly gimpy couple tim and shirley buckle Wiped out in the February 2022 flood. The water submerged their family home and destroyed all their possessions.

This included a power wheelchair Mr. Buckle needed to maintain his mobility.

The disaster not only forced him to live in emergency accommodation in another unfamiliar city, but also made him dependent on a chair made for teenagers.

With the help of a $5,000 donation from the NCA, he was able to purchase a replacement wheelchair.

In Murwillumbah, New South Wales, It Takes A Town (ITAT)Founded by Carmen Stewart, supports and connects individuals and initiatives through community projects.

Stewart said people needed the skill to check on others at a time when anxiety and depression were at an all-time high. Her Deep Her Listeners project offers suicide prevention training to help communities facilitate this.

Ursula Wharton, a local resident who lost her son to suicide four years ago and lost most of her family’s belongings in floods, held deep listener workshops to train others so residents can report and show compassion. Establish a Recovery Conversation Cafe to bring and listen to stories. .

“Deep Listeners is about us as a community that cares about each other,” she said. “We don’t fix anything, we don’t judge anything, we just listen. We don’t want to be pitied because we were flooded.

“We’re in it, so we understand it. Even with insurance, there’s no magic. It takes about two years to start recovering.”

Also supported by the NCA’s $35,000 flood relief donation is the town’s Reignite project, operated by Hub 2484 (formerly the Town’s Flood Volunteer Hub), which ITAT also supports.

Coordinated by Diane Bauer, Reignite aims to lift the spirits of the community by revitalizing activities that brought joy to people before the flood, from arts and crafts to fishing, gardening, dolls and Lego for children. purpose.

ITAT is also providing Why Leave Town gift cards to flood-affected households. Stewart said recipients of these cards are guaranteed to purchase goods lost in the floods at local stores.

A program to help traumatized children reconnect with nature benefited from a $20,000 grant that helped lower Richmond Valley schools to promote environmentally focused workshops. , will be able to create raised garden beds and greenhouses.

kate mcqueenthe producers behind the series Dirtgirlworld and Get Grubby TV built the program REgener8.

She said that programs focused on harnessing nature to help children “reconnect and normalize their relationship with nature” after disasters and to support the well-being of school-age children. said that it offers

“Growth takes time, growth takes care, and so does healing,” McKillen said.

“If you can see something sprout, grow and thrive, it’s like living hope.

“You can’t plant a tree if you don’t believe in the future.”

In another act of community goodwill, Wardell resident Joel Orchard, as he watched people flee their homes, said he had to help the small town and surrounding communities recover. I knew it wouldn’t.

wardel core And its 20 volunteers daily provide everything from clothing and food to mental health support to residents of Ballina Shire affected by the recent flood disaster.

Orchard estimates that more than 20,000 people have been helped by volunteer groups.

“Suddenly, people who had no idea they were in a flood-prone area were suddenly cut off or had to be flown in by helicopter,” he said.

“That first month was hell for leather goods.

“Just go, go, go, I think I worked 60 days before I took a day off.”

And there is still work to be done by supporting a $20,000 increase as part of the NCA’s efforts to help rebuild.

At Ballina Shire Cabbage Tree Island Public School Benefit from $20,000.

It was one of the countless buildings submerged in the flood, and the library and some rooms could not be recovered.

The school has been working tirelessly to provide connections in small indigenous communities, and continued to feed students and their families and provide donations during the floods.

Principal Dionne Anderson said the floodwaters were halfway up the lower windows and could not save the library, bathrooms for grades 3-6, community rooms and kindergartens.

All other classrooms were flooded in some way.

She said the donation will help the school remain an important part of the community.

“It’s very important that there is some normality for our children when you have nothing,” she said.

“This is not just about our schools. We cannot go forward with our students alone. Our community has to come with us.”

Many homeowners affected by the Lismore floods were left out in the cold this winter after removing interior wall siding due to black mold.

With families forced to live at home with no protection from the cold, the Lismore Program 2 rooms It was launched by Naomi Shine to fill that gap by insulating the two rooms with donated Giplock.

A donation of $20,000 from NCA means the organization can continue to help people like Courtney O’Brien, a single mother of three.

She said this support has made a world of difference, as it has enabled her family to have a safe and warm sleeping space as her recovery continues.

“Kids are very resilient. I think they’re doing just fine, but being able to provide a home is a bigger issue for me,” she said.

The mental health of flood-hit residents of northern New South Wales was put to a real test when the region was hit by two floods in six weeks.

But Ballina’s psychologist, Gina McMaster, has stepped up and said, Healing and Resilience Australia (HARA) helped provide mental health support to flood victims while dealing with my own office after a devastating flood.

The office McMaster shares with other psychologists was flooded 20 cm from the nearby Richmond River in February 2022.

A donation of $20,000 will support Mr. McMaster. McMaster said he had never seen the devastation “faced and shocking” while in Ballina.

“I could see 16 people a week like I used to, but that’s not enough given the number of people who need help,” she said.

“If we can help people early on, they are less likely to develop more serious mental health problems.”

students of Mullumbimby High School After the floods destroyed buildings such as staff rooms and the library, they are struggling to rebuild their studies.

Principal Greg Armstrong said the school hall was the worst, with many buildings damaged, padlocked and left unusable.

However, with the help of donations, the school can begin renovations to the halls and support ancillary services such as the Parents and Citizens Association to help students in need.

The school is also in the process of restoration and improvements that will help provide the school hall with a new floor, stage, lighting and basketball ring.

“We have some very exciting things ahead of us that will enable us to achieve a brighter future,” Armstrong said.

“I can’t believe News Corp generously donated $20,000 to us.

“We are very grateful.”

On the other hand, some believe that books are the best way out of difficult situations.

So there was grief throughout the community. Richmond Tweed Library

I saw entire collections of beloved books destroyed by the flood.

Mobile libraries were also destroyed, and librarians used station wagons to continue small, limited collections after the flood.

But an influx of donations, including $20,000 from the NCA, prompted Richmond-Tweed Library to launch a new mobile library truck.

Trisha Bryant, a library volunteer in Nimbin, said it would be life-changing.

“People keep telling us how important reading is,” Bryant said.

But thanks to donations, including $20,000 from the NCA, the Richmond-Tweed Library has a new mobile library truck hit the road.

Trisha Bryant, a library volunteer in Nimbin, said it would be life-changing.

“People keep telling us how important reading is,” Bryant said.

“Especially for those who have been stranded by floods or unable to enter towns due to damaged roads.”

first published as Flooding Lismore, Wide Bay and Ballina: Honoring Heroes Every Day as Recovery Continues

Flooding Lismore, Wide Bay and Ballina: Honoring Everyday Heroes as Recovery Continues

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