As the world watched our dry and drought-stricken landscape disappear beneath swirling flood waters, first in Queensland and now in country Victoria, Australian expats will have felt more keenly than ever that heart-breaking tyranny of distance as these tragic events unfolded. My urgent emails and phone calls to check that loved ones were safe and the relief I felt as I discovered my family and friends were ok have now been replaced by the sad and numbing realisation that others have not been so lucky with stories like that of 13 year old Jordan Rice, who saved his brother and lost his life, reminding me that the devastation is far deeper as flood victims face the monumental task of re-building businesses, lives and communities.
And it would appear that it isn’t over yet as reports of flooding and the ensuing devastation continues unabated.
This Wednesday (26th January) is Australia Day, a time traditionally for we Aussies to get together for a bit of a shindig and celebrate all that is great about being Australian. One of our greatest traits is our ‘get-on-with-it’ attitude in the face of adversity:
“Without doubt the best quality we observe across the entire Australian community is a natural willingness to pitch in and have a go, to help others….It is a generosity of spirit and a selflessness that is perhaps our most precious heritage to hand on to younger and newer Australians – a nation of people who care for and look out for each other.” General Peter Cosgrove, ex Chief of Australia’s Defence Force
And in fine Aussie spirit, my lovely friend April has been inspired put together a fab Charity Wine Tasting event to mark Australia Day 2011 and provide a way to support our friends and family and the communities afflicted.