Posts Tagged ‘Flood disaster appeal’

Coolana Olives – The Road To Recovery

Posted on: January 31st, 2011 by Julie Lewin No Comments

My last blog post was about Ian and Dot Roy, members of our community.  They own an olive farm in the Lockyer Valley that was devastated by the recent floods.

In that blog post, I asked people if they wanted to know who they were supporting by donating to the flood appeal, they could buy some olives from Coolana Olives.

I’ve done just that … and I’ve got two packets of olives.  The award winning Home Style Baked Garlic Lime Chilli Olives and the Home Style Baked Sweet Thai Lime Olives.

They are the most delicious olives that I have ever tasted and I have to say the sweet Thai lime olives are my favourite.  I don’t quite know exactly what they’ve done with them, but they are delicious.

They’re Kalamata olives … and it’s the most amazing olive sensation I’ve ever had.

I just wanted to share with you how fabulous these olives are … and they arrive in the mail.

So you can go online at and order them … and they’ll pack them off to you.

Well … that’s my update for and if you haven’t donated to the appeal yet, you can donate at the main page or you can go to and order yourself some delicious olives.  I promise, you won’t regret it.

I love them!  Yuuummmmm!!!



Humbling moments and a feeling of gratitude…

Posted on: January 28th, 2011 by Matt Clarkson No Comments

Hi All

My name’s Matt Clarkson and recently I helped a friend who had been severely affected by the floods north of Ipswich as his two month old house was inundated by the floods. Totally devastated!

Along the way we had to go over the main Wyvenhoe dam which was still massively overflowing.

In my old life I was a carpenter so am pretty handy when I clip on the old nail bag. We went to Wayne’s house to remove the bottom 900 mm of plasterboard from every wall over a 700 square meter house as it was all ruined. Let me tell you it was a massive job, I had help from Amanda’s 74 year old dad (he’s an old trady too) and we just went for it.

We worked our tails off and in fact everybody out there did too and I have to say it was a pretty special feeling I had to be able to contribute in my own small way. It’s been amazing to see so many people chip in any way they could to help those in need. I also had the pleasure of being able to lend Wayne and his family our caravan for as long as he needs it to give him a comfortable place to stay in the meantime.

What I didn’t know at that stage is that we had also lost a fair amount of our stock for our business as it was warehoused at a fullfillment comapany in Brisbane. I got back to work the day after helping my friend Wayne to discover we had lost around $40,000 worth of stock ourselves.

And yet all I can really think about is the people who truly lost everything, including loved ones and think just how grateful I am to have missed the worst of it.

To everybody who contributed either financially or with time and effort a big well done. It really means a great deal to the people involved who have to somehow pick up the pieces…especially the ones who don’t have the capacity to finance the cost of the major repairs.

Matt Clarkson

Olive Farmers, Ian and Dot Roy of Coolana Olives, Hit Hard

Posted on: January 24th, 2011 by Julie Lewin No Comments
Coolana Grove

Coolana Grove

I don’t know about you … but Frank and I “LOVE” Australian Olive Oil! We won’t use anything else.

When I heard that one of Our Internet Secrets community members, Ian and Dot Roy’s Olive Farm – Coolana Olives – was hit hard in January 2011, I asked them how we could help … and discovered much more than I expected.

In 2008, a 1 in a 100 year flash flood hit them (170mls in two hours).  Their olive press was written off and they had to start again.

In January 2011, that’s right less than 3 years later – they were flooded again … this time 380 mls of rain in 24 hours.

I had to share their story with you …

Over a metre of muddy water came through their shop and factory when south east Queensland was turned into a big lake overnight in the second week of January 2011.  It took 5 long days to clean up the mess.

They had only just finished cleaning … when the nightmare continued … another 65 mls fell overnight. You guessed it … this sent another layer of muddy water back through the shop/ factory. That would be enough to make any spirit crack.

But … they’re not broken … they rested up … and got back in and cleaned up again.

Yes … they’ve lost a lot of olives, but they weren’t totally destroyed.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Coolana Olives - Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Coolana Sevilanno Olives

Coolana Sevilanno Olives

Here’s what Ian said, “We still have unaffected stock and if people can support by buying our product it would be great.”

If you want to put a face and name to someone you have supported … help this Australian farm get back on its feet … you can buy online

Have a read of their about us page … its inspirational.

They have developed lots of products that look and sound delicious … you can see that they’ve used their imagination to tempt your taste buds.

Check out their product catalogue where you can buy online and have it delivered to your door.

Visits to the olive grove are also very welcome … just give them a month to get back on track before you go and visit them at:

Lowood Minden Road, Lowood Qld 4311 (There’s a map on their about us page.)

Phone: 07) 5426 8393


I hope you love olives and olive oil as much as we do … and decide to see what Ian and Dot have to offer.

Until next time … Cheers … Julie

People Open Their Hearts To Queenslanders

Posted on: January 19th, 2011 by Julie Lewin No Comments

Spectacular Thunderstorm Ends The Day

As I write this blog post tonight … Warwick is totally surrounded by fierce clouds and a spectacular thunder and lightning show. As awe-inspiring as it is … it looks like the bombs going off in the London air raids. And the heartbreaking part is that the storm has made its way to Killarney … where the headwaters of the Condamine River start. Yes … its raining again.

A month ago … I would have marvelled at mother nature’s display, enjoyed the moment, and thought nothing more of it … but tonight I wonder … will the river flood again tomorrow, and what will that mean.

Good News

Today I spoke with one of our lovely Our Internet Secrets members from Ipswich. We had a phone coaching call scheduled for last Tuesday … and it was cancelled because she was packing up her home to save what she could from the flood that was raging towards Ipswich.

The great news is that because the Bremer River didn’t rise to the expected 21 metres – the water came into their yard, but not the house. Then, I was moved to tears as I listened to her talk about the storm that hit Brisbane and Ipswich last night … Sandra had a reaction to the storm that she’s never experienced before. She started shaking all over and was frightened for her husband and son who were being battered by the hail in their car.

This could be a common response in the coming months and years – till hopefully the horrors of the past weeks fade and pass.

Young Australians Make Us Proud

Another bright moment in my day … we had a lovely response to our email asking people to help Queenslanders affected by the floods.

“Andrew and Daryl,

Good on you.

My daughter Laura is on her way driving from Melbourne to QLD, she stayed in Coffs Harbour last night, and is on her way to help with the clean up. Do you know of any where she could stay either around Brisbane or Ipswich as she will arrive today. If you do could you please call me on xxxxxxxxxx as I will be at work, so won’t see my emails during the day.

Thank you,

Love to all in QLD,


I immediately rang my daughter in Brisbane and asked if they still had that mattress! She said, “Yes, why?” I told her about Laura and asked if they would mind if she stayed with them while she volunteered to help Queensland rebuild. My two kids and their flatmate, opened their home immediately to Laura and I’ve just heard that she has arrived … after driving from Melbourne by herself.

After talking to my daughter, I rang Carol and made the offer of accommodation for Laura. From one mum to another … I could tell she was really relieved to know that Laura had a safe place to bed down.

We were chatting about the last week … and Carol asked how we were going … I was surprised to be overcome with emotion and couldn’t speak … and when Carol asked if I was still there … tears streamed down my face in grief at the devastation Queensland has experienced in the past month. It was unexpected and for a moment embarrassing. And then we grieved together.

Young people of Australia are fantastic … it takes courage to drive half way across Australia on your own … knowing that you are entering a war zone scenario when you reach your destination. Not knowing what you’ll be asked to do, or what you will see, feel, hear or smell and with nowhere to sleep when you get there, but compelled to go … more than the pull to stay safely at home.

I have to say that Laura has come to volunteer in Queensland with the blessing of her employer in Melbourne. That’s why they call Australia the greatest country in the world … everyone pulling together.

An inspirational, emotional day … and so proud to be Australian.

In gratitude … Julie