As I write this, my nation is in crisis. These words are epic and weighted words that on any other day would seem like an exaggeration. But not today.
I’m writing this to appeal to you, whoever you are and wherever you are, for your help.
In case you haven’t seen much of the news, Australia has been hit by some of the worst flooding it has ever seen, with the brunt of it hitting Queensland (the northern most east coast state).
According to the most recent reports, 75% of the state has now been declared a disaster zone, after rains and floods that have seen an area as big as Germany, twice the size of Texas and five times the size of the entire United Kingdom go completely underwater. If even one life had been lost, this disaster would have been horrific. As it stands however, dozens are missing and the death toll is rising.
Our headlines are being dominated by impossible concepts like ‘inland tsunamis’, in which sometimes up to 8 metre high walls of water are thundering into towns and cities that have had no time to prepare, not from the sea, but down from the mountains. Crops are gone. People have watched their livelihoods crushed, broken and just plain washed away in one fell swoop. Men, women and children have lost everything.
Today, we are a nation in mourning.
Today, there are no states. No territories. Only Australians.
My appeal to you is this: we live in a world where we wake up to headlines everyday of war and politics, of separation and sadness. We live in a world where society is intent on separating itself into a thousand different categories of haves and have nots, those who agree with our beliefs and those who do not. But disasters such as these do not recognise the borders we as humanity place around ourselves to stake our claims on this big green and blue ball, social or physical.
Days like today highlight the idiocy and uselessness of our petty differences. But more than that, it highlights the fact that when push comes to shove, our collective humanity makes us more than co-inhabitants of a planet. It makes us family.
With that in mind, I ask that you seriously consider giving what you can – whether it’s a lot or a little – to the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal.
The best information on how and where you can donate can be be found here, on the Queensland Government website: http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html
As at 11am this morning, almost $32.5 million has been raised by donations alone. This is proof particularly of how willing Aussies are by nature to band together in the face of disaster. It is a comradeship and a brotherhood that is in our very blood, and days like today are for me a reminder of how – despite such tragedy – we are still very much The Lucky Country. A country I love and am honoured to call my own, a sentiment that I know the rest of Australia will continue to echo in it’s loudest voice to the world.
Whatever you can do to add to the already spectacular total of funds donated is brilliant, and I guarantee will be appreciated because, trite as it sounds, every cent counts.
And if you are unable to give financially, then this is also an appeal to keep this country and these people in your prayers and thoughts over the hours, days, weeks and months that follow this disaster.
After all. There into their despair, but for the grace of God go we all.