As a testament to grassroots power, concerned citizens across the nation have driven to flood-impacted communities, made donations and offered services.
A group of forty-five Fijian men working in abattoirs in northern NSW are also helping people in the flood-affected region after they posted on the Facebook group Resilient Lismore. The group only recently arrived in Australia. Talk about settling in!
The group has helped with boat rescues and by setting up beds and serving food to hungry evacuees.
They have now teamed up with a group of Samoan workers who have also come to Australia as part of the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme. This government program helps pair Aussie businesses with workers from 9 Pacific islands and Timor-Leste, especially where the local labour pool is small.
The community group Sikh Volunteers Australia is also lending helping hands. Sikh Volunteers provided free meals for Melbournians stuck in lockdown – nearly 80,000 meals in 81 days during Melbourne’s sixth lockdown alone according to The Guardian! Now they have turned their gaze to flood-affected communities.
While initially intending to go to Brisbane, the group ended up driving for 34 hours in their food van to Lismore where they are now helping residents. They’re already cooking up 1500 meals a day at at Woolgoolga Sikh temple. What legends!
“We are a team of four now … But more volunteers will be flown in during the coming days when the airports are open”, one member told the ABC.
If you’re wondering how you can help too, the Facebook group ‘Help Lismore and the Northern Rivers – From a Distance (2022 Flood)’ is a good start.