Catastrophes bring communities together

January 13 2020 by David Gibbs

Catastrophes bring communities together

Australia is going through its climate catastrophe this year. Drought, weather patterns, warming seas have led to much of southern Australia burning and all of us have been impacted by the footage we are witnessing, daily through our news feeds. The images of people huddled on the beaches with terrified children and pets, towns that are hundreds of years old, completely gone and of course the loss of millions of animals. It came home to us in a small way on New Year’s Day when we awoke to the smoke reaching Queenstown and turning our day into a kind of eerie dusk.

I spent 30 years living in Australia, a product of a time when Kiwis were almost encouraged to ‘get on’ by moving over the ditch and my time in Australia was incredibly rewarding and I love Australia and its people. Now, to watch these scenes of NSW, SA and Victoria burning and having to endure states of emergencies as the fires link up creating fire fronts that stretch across state borders is truly heartbreaking.

When it’s all over, which is likely still months away, there will be a reckoning and Australia is going to be changed forever. No longer will the casual smiling, fun loving, koala hugging images luring us to Australia with a ‘she’ll be right mate’ theme, be believable to the rest of the world. Australia burning has been the story over the holiday period across the globe and graphically brought home what climate change is capable of.

While the devastation is nowhere near over, Australians and Kiwis are pulling together to help; giving money, goods, their homes and their time for those that have lost everything. This last weekend and through the coming weeks the number of fund-raising events being held in Queenstown and throughout the country will gather pace. From lemonade stands put on by the young ones to elaborate events, to people opening their homes, all in aid of raising money to help our Aussie cousins. To see the number spring up in Queenstown and Wanaka has been such an inspiration. There are thousands and thousands who will come through this catastrophe with nothing and the wildlife is in even worse shape and every dollar raised will be welcome.
It is times like this that the Tasman Sea disappears as the barrier that separates the two countries and we act as ‘family’ and as a Kiwi who has spent decades in Australia and returned, it’s wonderful to witness our communities spirit and generosity and how we are getting behind efforts to help. Please support these wonderful initiatives raising desperately needed funds for the bush fire victims and to the organisers, thank you and I know Australia thanks you!!

David Gibbs
Commercial Operations Manager
Lakes Weekly Bulletin

- David Gibbs
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    Yes, and we will forget that the Australian Govt treats us as third class citizens, until the fires are over and done with.....

    Posted 14/01/2020 5:15pm (8 months ago)