Community & Business

21 February, 2024


FROM the roof of their family home, Bruno and Katy Martin watched as floodwaters took out their granny flat, Bruno’s office and everything in their house during last year’s extreme weather event.

By Ellie Fink

HOPE AFTER FLOODS - feature photo

The Mt Molloy residents sat under a “kiddy pop up tent” on the garage roof, anxiously watching Rifle Creek rise to levels they had never seen in their six years of living there.

Two months on, the couple and their two young children, Anaiya and Tiago, are living out a caravan on the property while slowly rebuilding after extensive damage.

Joining forces, the Mareeba Lions Club and Mareeba and Noosa Rotary were able to donate a combined $31,500 to more than 50 Mareeba Shire residents, including the Martins, to help them continue to rebuild two months after the major disaster.

The two gift cards, a $1000 Betta Home and Electrical card and a $1000 Mareeba Chamber of Commerce card (only to be used at TGT Hardware), can be used over two years to buy essential home items that were lost in the floodwaters.

Katy said she was honoured to receive the donation, explaining how it was perfect timing now the family knew exactly what they needed.

“When it first happens, you know, you get all these phone calls, all these messages, and it's really overwhelming because your emotions are all over the place – you've just kind of been through this traumatic event, and you’re sleep deprived,” she said.

“You don’t realise what you need until the dust sort of settles, and you realise what you were really able to salvage and what you need now, so this donation couldn’t have come at a better time where we know what we need now.

“We are really touched and surprised and so overwhelmed just in general – people have put in so much time and given donations and things like these gift cards.”

Bruno said with the gift cards, he was now able to buy all the tools he needs to rebuild the granny flat in the hope of renting it out one day.

He said while some days he felt like giving up, it was support like this that helped him feel hopeful again.  

“It does allow us to push forward because some days you feel like you haven’t achieved a lot and that there is just so much to do – it does get to you emotionally,” he said.

“But we count our blessings and get through, and this donation and this community is one of those blessings.”

Mareeba Lion Terry Wallace organised the gift cards for each recipient, drawing money for the Lions’ share of the donation from the organisations disaster fund. 

He reached out to every single person in the Mareeba Shire on the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service’s list of people affected by the floods, asking what they needed to recover.

“There were over 40 families that they had identified, and since I have found out there is probably more,” he said.

“I rang them all, and some of them were just so grateful that somebody had rang them for starters, but some of them had enough savings and didn’t want any help and some were still deeply traumatised.

“So, the recipients were based on their circumstances, and we worked through it that way and delivered the money in an equitable way.

“It won’t solve all of your problems, but we hope it will help on your road to recovery.”

Rotarian Lenore Wyatt said she was proud to see the local service clubs join forces and thanked Terry for all his dedication to helping flood victims.

“Terry has led this assistance, and we have come on board for the monetary side of things, using our fundraising from mainly the Field Days and money Noosa Rotary have donated,” she said.

“We are so thankful Terry was out there with families delivering emergency funding, and we are so thankful to come onboard and help.”

Those still seeking assistance after TC Jasper and the flooding events that followed are encouraged to reach out to Mareeba Lions and Rotary.

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