The power of the social media images posted by beef producers in the flood devastated north west Queensland has lead to an outpouring of support from across Australia.
The powerful and heartbreaking pictures of sheer devastation, have stirred a nation’s collective heart, with offers of assistance pouring in from people wanting to provide counselling services, their manual labour and funds.
Ren Field, who with her partner Cameron Archer, have country north of Winton, said when she posted her pictures of devastating stock losses she was inundated with offers of help from all over Australia.
Ren has since created a Facebook page titled the ‘Diamantina Disaster Aid Devils’ for people to register as volunteers to help with the rebuilding of properties after the devastating floods.
As a result she is now taking expressions of interest and registrations, for those willing to help.
“I have three psychologists from various parts of Australia who have offered free-of-charge help over the phone to beef producers,” Ren said.
“There are many from around Australia who have offered their homes by the sea to be used when these families can finally take a break and get away.
“There have been lots of grey nomads who have made contact offering to do fencing and the heavy outside work, while their wives offer domestic help and child minding.
“It has been absolutely incredible and has certainly restored my faith in humanity.
“In times like these it really makes you realise how incredible people really are.”
Meanwhile, Martin Vella from Sarina, who has strong connections to the region plans to travel to Richmond, Julia Creek and Cloncurry this Friday.
Martin said when he sees and hears first hand what is needed, he plans to set up a work camp in the region.
“This will not be a quick fix with this one, as it is a slow burn and we will need people for the long term,” Martin said.
“We don’t want to be a drain on these communities, and we need to ask them what do they need doing first.”
Martin is looking for people who have rural skills, or mechanical experience.
“This is will be hard, dirty and soul destroying work and the accommodation will be a swag under a marquee,” he said.
Another recent Facebook page is ‘Where is my Cow’
It was registered by Kelsey Neilsen, near Boulia, in the miraculous hope some cattle may have survived and end up well away from home.
“This page is for people who find cattle they don’t own, and can’t recognise the brand,” Kelsey said
“All they need to do is post and share with brands and earmarks visible, in the hope they will be returned.
“With so many cattle on agistment as well as bought-in cattle there will many be many unfamiliar brands and earmarks.”
Kelsey said there have been miraculous survival stories in the past where animals have floated in flood waters, and found high ground.
“Even if only one animal is found and returned that would be great as every single animal is precious to these producers,” she said.
A registered charity called the Sisters of the North has been established, with a Go Fund Me page set-up to help families affected by the floods. In the first 48 hours $39,000 was raised.
Former Hughenden stud and commercial cattle producers Roger and Jenny Underwood, along with Dalmally Pastoral Company, Roma, have donated cattle sale proceeds from the Roma Store Sale on Tuesday to the QCWA Public Rural Crises Fund.
Anyone else wanting to assist financially should donate to the QCWA Public Rural Crises Fund, which was established in 1990 to assist rural communities in times of crisis.