The Australian Spirit is alive and well in the Queensland Floods, Australia
In Australia, the saying “you’re a legend” generally applies to an outstanding individual. What the world has witnessed in the past few weeks is the stuff of ordinary people doing extraordinary things….The entire State of Queenslanders are legends; displaying an unshakeable determination to help others pull through their biggest natural disaster. I continue to be moved by the stories of generosity and caring displayed by my fellow countrymen and women during the state of Queensland’s most difficult time in their history. Australians possess a unique spirit of mateship that truly is unparalleled. Yesterday, the call went out for volunteers by Brisbane City Council. Over 10,000 people showed up at various gathering points to help flood victims and begin the massive clean-up task. They arrived with buckets, shovels, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and lunch. Instructions were provided on the council website regarding how to prepare oneself physically for removing heavy piles of debris. Residents and business owners have also been advised to take extreme care as they return to hazardous conditions. There are warnings to watch for snakes that are retreating from the floodwaters. The stench from the mud and rot was reportedly overwhelming. Nurses were on hand to administer free tetanus injections. These conditions have not stopped people who arrived in droves to help. In fact, there was an oversupply of volunteers. People were turned away due to an overwhelming response. They will keep coming as there will be no shortage of tasks as cities, towns and the state of Queensland slowly rebuilds. The human and financial toll is already significant. The stories of heartbreak emerge daily. Yet there is no doubt that the moral fibre of Australia survives and thrives while enduring the unpredictability of Mother Nature.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
Except from Dorothea Mackellar’s
“My Country” (1904)