The Stories That Make This Tragedy More Real

Posted on: January 22nd, 2011 by Julie Lewin No Comments

Its the stories that move us beyond ourselves.

Will Take 12-24 Months To Get Back Into Their Homes

I spoke to a member of Our Internet Secrets community a couple of days ago and she told me that the water reached the ceiling in her home and over the roof of her brother’s home. She said, “I’ll be alright … but I’m sad for my brother. He has lost everything … he has a wife, baby and a toddler.” From memory she said there was no insurance.

They will be out of their properties for 12-24 months!!! When I heard that … the reality of Anna Bligh’s comments about the recovery journey hit me … this is going to take a long time to bounce back.

They have a close loving family and friends and they will recover in true Aussie spirit.

Planned A Clean Out In 2011 – But Not As Dramatic As This

Yesterday … I spoke with another member of our community … Vivienne Hallman.

It is an inspirational story in the face of adversity.

Vivienne has a two story home in Fig Tree Pocket in Brisbane … and it was hard hit by the floods from the Brisbane River. The ground floor was totally submerged and about 40cm ran through the top floor.

When I rang Vivienne she was cleaning her Old English china collection … she had 1500 in her collection, they were all on the bottom floor. She was counting her blessings that only 50-100 pieces were broken or damaged.

What happened on Saturday and Sunday after the floods was truly amazing … Vivienne said, “30 people arrived at my door on Saturday and Sunday morning and they worked in total harmony all day. There was not a single cross word … it was complete harmony. When you think of that many people in a grotty house under those conditions working very happily … it just shows what people can do when the occasion rises … if the importance is there – there are no egos.”

She didn’t know more than a couple of these people. They just came and offered to help and got along with each other. One lady was there on both Saturday and Sunday. She took the leadership role and in her pleasant way organised people in their tasks. Vivienne was impressed with her care and consideration as she regularly checked in to see if Vivienne was alright and how was she going.

A happy equilibrium was reached by a bunch of strangers.
It was inspirational to experience!

When I asked Vivienne what now … she said, she looks on this situation as an opportunity … she had planned to have a clean out this year – it just came a bit differently to how she expected. A bit quicker and more dramatic.

She was reminded of something someone said: “Wealth is what you have when you have lost everything!” Having lost a lot, she has realised that she is still Vivienne … and she now has a blank canvas and can choose a new life and put whatever she wants in it!

Vivienne is definitely looking forward to new opportunities out of this catastrophe.

How You Can Personally Help Vivienne Bounce Back

When I asked her how we could help her personally … she shared with me that she is passionate about the wider community growing their own food.

Vivienne has developed a system of growing a plentiful supply of food in a small space. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be in the ground. She has started a consultancy business where she personally teaches you how to do this.

If you want to support Vivienne to get back on her feet again … and you want some yummy food to eat that you’ve grown yourself … email her at … and she’ll give you all the details on how you can help her and help yourself save money and eat delicious home grown food for most of the year.

And … thanks so much for all your feedback saying how much you are enjoying these articles … stay tuned for more updates.


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