Flood Update – Rainforest Rescue Mullumbimby HQ Flooded
To our Rainforest Rescue Community
A short note to let you know that the members of the Rainforest Rescue team based in Northern Rivers are safe and well. It hasn’t been easy – truly. And some of us are more unscathed than others. But, overall, we are safe and well and for that we are grateful.
The recent floods have been catastrophic for the community and ecology of the Northern Rivers, and well beyond. The tales of both sorrow and inspiration are many. Stories of devastation and loss have amplified around Australia and the world, but as have those of community coming together to help each other, build back and restore what we had.
Rainforest Rescue HQ flooded but we are stronger than ever
We knew the rains had been harder and lasted longer than seemed “reasonable” – but we had no idea that we were facing a regional catastrophe that is still playing out.
As an organisation, we have been fortunate.
The Rainforest Rescue HQ was flooded, and as the water receded a thick layer of mud was left behind. Archive files, electronics, and furniture have all now been destroyed and we will need to do without them. Again the generosity of the community was so clear when we went to assess the damage. As we started to clean up what we could with shovels and brooms, volunteers soon joined us with squeegees and wheelbarrows. (Big shout out of thanks to Louie, Aneka, and Johnny! – that’s Johnny below.)
Things were a little rockier for our staff as some were isolated with the M1 closed for many days and one team member had their home flooded and wound up briefly being displaced.
But as you know, like the communities that support us, the team at Rainforest Rescue are incredibly resilient. This disaster only further underscores the importance of doing what we can to help mitigate climate change…and that we must continue to help one another. This is not going to be the last climate-change-fuelled disaster. We’ll need to look out for and support each other.
We are stronger together.
How you can help the community
Although HQ flooded, we are quite lucky as both an organisation and as individuals, so many in the region have not been as fortunate. It has been in the response from the community – neighbours looking after neighbours, people hiking for hours into the watersheds with supplies in dangerous conditions – incredible citizen-led rescues – that has really become the sunshine of the day.
The experience of kindness, generosity, and genuine caring has been humbling. This, more than policy or government intervention, gives me significant hope.
People are going to continue to need our help, and there are a number of community initiatives you can direct your financial and material contributions to.
Some to consider:
GIVIT is collecting and distributing donations, both financial and material. They also ensure only requested items are sent through to ensure the most needed items go to the community.
The Recovery Project is also connecting those that can help with those that need help.
The Koori Mail has a fundraiser to directly support members of the Bundjalung community impacted by the floods.
We also recommend staying on top of the information published on council websites in flood-affected areas.
- Byron Shire Council area
- Lismore City Council area
- Ballina Shire Council area
- Tweed Shire Council area
- Brisbane City Council area
- Sunshine Coast Council area
So much more needs to be done – our resolve is only stronger
Climate change is very real – it is here. We are living it.
As our long-time friend and former board member, Sue Higginson, wrote in the Guardian on Tuesday 1 March, as the rain continued to fall: We need to look towards the future and decide what kind of future we want. Climate change has happened, it is going to get worse – the decision is how much worse do we want this to get.
We know what kind of future we want.
We want a greener, more resilient future. And for our part and to that end, we are continuing to grow and plant more trees to help mitigate the impacts of global warming. We will continue to buy back rainforest parcels in the Daintree, protecting these vital ecosystems from development, and providing assured habitat as well as a buffer for the heart of the Daintree, as we all adapt.
We will keep doing what you expect from us – and what we demand of ourselves: protecting rainforests forever.
Look after one another – look after your neighbours – look after yourselves.
We are stronger together.
And together, we are Rainforest Rescue.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONCERN AND YOUR CARE. IT MEANS THE WORLD TO US!
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