It didn't seem possible. Two major flood events in the space of a month. The dramatic scenes of people plucked from roofs. The sheer scale of the destruction. The cleanup. These are hard things to forget.
The second time we're better prepared. But after a month of mud and heartache it was a hard hit to take. The community pulled together in so many inspiring ways. From literally saving lives in the first flood to providing shelter, food, and a recovery where flooded schools and businesses could reopen and where essential services could operate. The university stood up when its community needed it the most. These are some of the stories.
When you first walk in you can't ignore the smell that's the first thing that you notice and then it kind of just clicks in that this is someone's life this is their reality.
We started there with the team of students and then we just didn't stop the adrenaline takes over and you just go and go you don't even think twice about it.
Yeah it's quite shocking. It's just seeing people with the whole world's possessions destroyed on the sidewalk so it's quite confronting. Uh yeah everyone's sort of working together and you know just pitching in because everyone just wants to help the community and help people get on with their lives.
We're taking community donations to actually provide to the community. We've had an outpouring of different regions come here and donate their products and goods for us to distribute out to the community. Some are even flood affected that have been given so many donations themselves which is really really inspiring.
I was born in Wee Waa and the flood drove us out in 74 I think it was and my family were affected by floods when I was a child so it holds strong to me so yeah.
They're doing such amazing work down here, I mean Cindy and all the people have been volunteering day in day out have just been truly amazing and the amount of donations coming in is also quite unreal.
I mean I actually over the last couple of weeks I found the whole thing quite emotional in so many ways how people come together how people you know support each other even under really difficult circumstances and also how resilient our staff have been.
Like the rest of the CBD and North and South Lismore, my was literally up to the ceiling. Business New South Wales in partnership with SCU is setting up this business hub we have hot desks we will be running Q&A sessions for insurance for commercial tenancies for the landlords for the tenants. There's a lot of very traumatised people in town but really the focus here is to actually get businesses up and running as soon as we can and to find out what businesses need to be able to do that I don't know where we would do this if the university wasn't here.
There was a lot of darkness that morning not just because the sun wasn't rising but simply because of the level of devastation so we had a total of eight classrooms on the third floor that did not have water in them. Uh the rest of the entire two campuses were inundated. It's wonderful to be here at Southern Cross University in wonderful facilities, working with wonderful staff from the university to keep the education journey happening and alive for our students.
I think we all had a sense of relief just to know that we do have to be able to come together and still learn. It's really great to just even see everyone and be around people that are going through things and we can really lean on each other.