The news from south east Queensland and northern NSW is devastating. Among the harrowing stories of loss and destruction, there are many of mutual aid, solidarity, empathy and bravery.
As author Rebecca Solnit explained so beautifully in her book ‘A Paradise Built in Hell’, during and after disasters, it is the self initiative and self organising of affected communities that does some of the best work at emergency relief and long term recovery.
As the clean up gets underway, here are some ideas of local initiatives you may want to support.
Image: Aidan and Tim rescuing their neighbours in Lismore (Eddie Lloyd)
Please send us details on other initiatives and we will add to the list.
If you can help on-the-ground please fill out this volunteer form to get matched with some flood survivors / work.
First Nations specific
Organised by Koori Mail which is WHOLLY owned by five Bundjalung Aboriginal community organisations. All donated funds will go directly to the people and communities.
Raising flood relief funds for:
- Bundjalung Tribal Society at Lismore
- Bunjum Co-operative at Cabbage Tree Island
- Buyinbin Co-operative at Casino
- Kurrachee Cooperative at Coraki
- Nungera Co-operative at Maclean.
‘There are immediate needs for support - once the water goes down people will need to clean and fix their houses, need to buy new clothes and essential items, many people will need temporary relocation because their home is unlivable’.
Recommended by Resilient Lismore
LISMORE CITY COUNCIL, FLOOD APPEAL ACCOUNT
These donations are for the purpose of disaster recovery and community support and will be distributed to other organisations or persons for those organisations to use and distribute as needed.
BSB: 062565 Account: 10864633
RED CROSS FLOOD APPEAL
The Red Cross is committed to supporting the community through the next two years as we recover and rebuild. Donate here.
This platform specifically matches the need with the items being donated. It is recommended by Resilience NSW.
Other General Support
This is a great portal outlining ways to donate to background checked organisations directing help on the ground
My GoFundMe to buy basic essentials on demand for delivery ASAP (as soon as roads open).
Lismore Relief Fund - Includes links to many local fundraisers, including First Nations.
Help Lismore and Coraki flood affected communities. 'We are accepting donations through to purchase items most needed such as tents, swags, air mattresses, linen and bedding, clothing, underwear and shoes, vouchers for fuel, groceries, travel etc; and send them DIRECTLY to the communities'. Link here.
Lismore fundraiser for the queer community. 'Funds will be distributed to individuals in the LGBTIQA+ community who have been materially impacted by the floods in Lismore and the Northern Rivers area'. Link here.
For large donations (from businesses, organisation & institutions) please email [email protected].
North Lismore Flood Relief. Link here. 'We are hoping that this fundraiser will raise enough money to help some of our friends in the North Lismore flood community back on their feet and back living in their homes with the basics that they need to do this'.
Animals and wildlife
Koala Rescue QLD "We need your urgent help as the floods continue to cause havoc for our rescue. We have lost our humidicrib and icu cages that normally house our precious koalas."
This Facebook group has been established which is collating personal GoFundMe campaigns, if you would like to read personal stories and then donate directly to individuals.
Many long term activists were impacted by the floods. Here are some individual crowdfund appeals from people we know.
Dee Mould and Naomi Shine, Lismore. 'We lost everything except our vehicles. We visited the house today and our stuff is totally destroyed and the house is full of mud. We have yet to find out if our home is safe to move back into, if it is we plan to clean it out and stay'. Link here.
Basso Studios/ Antoinette O’Brien. 'Basso Studios has been devastated by unprecedented flooding. Basso is the studio space of Antoinette O’Brien, a much loved multi disciplinary artist of the Lismore arts community.' Link here.
Flood relief for Rebecca. One of the many GoFundMe accounts for individuals who have lost everything, for single mum Rebecca Rushbrook
Flood relief for Svea. Svea is a well known local activist in northern NSW who has just lost everything. Link here.
Fundraiser for Holly and Denise in Lismore. 'They have lost everything in the lismore 2022 catastrophic flooding'. Link here.
Binnie, Lismore. Binnie is a long term friend of ours, with decades of dedication to activism and human rights. 'They say it’s a 1 in 1000 year flood. Well here we are living it and it has destroyed my sister’s home. Everything. A lifetime of treasured possessions now lining the street.' Link here.
Restore Sean's forest campaign van. Link here. 'Sean is a NEFA Forests Campaigner, co-ordinator of Fridays for Forests, presenter of radio show Environmental as Anything, and an absolute powerhouse for the protection of our forests. During the rain bomb that smashed Lismore with the worst flooding ever recorded, Sean lost his 4WD van.'
If you are a primary producer affected by the recent floods you can apply for assistance from Rural Aid.
Anyone can donate to enable Rural Aid to provide support to affected primary producers.
Looking out for each other.
The trauma of natural disasters continues over time. Here are some great resources about coping with the immediate and long term impacts of trauma. 'The environmental impact of the event might be immediate, as it is with flood or bushfire, but it might also develop over time, as it does with drought. Depending on what people are already dealing with in their lives, the emotional impact can be difficult for people to cope with both in the short and longer term.
Inspiring stories and reflections on What Next
Lismore flood: Man saves 16 people and five dogs after losing his own home
Aidan Ricketts, who also evacuated his own household of six, says the flood is ‘beyond all records or memories’. Story from The Guardian here.
‘A faint call for help’: remarkable stories emerge from NSW flood rescues
As flooding recedes after days of destruction, the extraordinary efforts of locals and emergency crews are being revealed. Story from The Guardian here.
After the floods: The Mountain In Front of Us. A reflection from Stew Prins. 'A solution to the housing crisis must be found urgently. We will need to rebuild our local economy. The business community is already punch-drunk from the 2017 floods, bushfires, the COVID-19 pandemic'. Link here.
Trees Not Bombs: So much more than Food and Chai. Susie says that her experience is that, in the face of disaster many people realise that cooperation is the key to survival. Story here.
Please send additional links for inclusion to: [email protected]