People are still living in dire situations in towns across the Northern Rivers in NSW, and the weather is getting colder.
Three months down the track there are residents surviving in structures without walls or floor coverings, in tents, in cars, and in sheds. People have lost everything and they do not have winter-ready, warm items to help them through this time.
Wardell CORE (Community Organised Resilience Effort), a community organisation run by volunteers, was born out of the receding flood waters. Joel Orchard, a Brauer College alumni, is one of a team of volunteers coordinating recovery assistance.
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The CORE is working to provide basics to those who have lost everything - members have worked to secure a physical space in the heart of the community, built a community laundry, a community bathroom and are providing access to donated pantry staples, fresh food and household goods.
It's also a warm place where people can come to be with each other and share a cup of tea or donated soup when they need a friendly face or ear.
Wardell needs help from outside, so we're looking to rally knitters in our Warrnambool community to help meet the need and provide some winter love.
We are looking for kind-hearted knitters.
Donations of warm hand-knitted slippers, gloves, hats and scarves are being sought. Feedback from the community up north is that hand-knitted items are providing more than warmth - they are lifting the spirits of the community and are being received with deep gratitude.
Not a knitter, but would like to donate? New thick socks, slippers, gloves, hats and scarves will be accepted. Cash donations are very appreciated and can be made via wardellcore.community/donate
For further information or a drop-off location, call Judy Mattner on 0439 956 560 or Ev Hall on 0438 598 813.
Judy Mattner, Warrnambool
I was absolutely appalled by the news stating the government wants to make our state gas-free.
You've got to be kidding, Dan Andrews. I use a bottle of gas a year, for my year-old oven.
I'm sure any perceived detrimental effects on the environment would be negligible. There are many people utilising gas for heating, cooking, running cars. We have an abundance of gas in Western Australia and why a pipeline isn't constructed to fulfill the needs of the eastern states is an outrage.
No, it's apparent we will have to go all electric. Will the Victorian government be exchanging our appliances, cars, heaters, etc? No. They couldn't afford to, and people using gas will have to pay a fortune for all the changes in the name of climate change.
Give us a break, how many people know wind farms are run on oil or natural gas? How many people know the hole in the ozone layer healed itself years ago?
Amazing considering the amount of gas that's supposedly causing so much trouble. Leave the people's choice to use gas alone.
Find something else to really help our state. Or is that too much of a brain-strain for this government's politicians?
Greens votes are more important to the government than the needs of the people.
Jo Archbold, Koroit
The majority of Australians are touched by the impact of mental health in some way and there is no doubt the past few years have been some of the most challenging in recent history.
Many live with the daily burden of anxiety or depression, or care for a loved one.
Too many in our communities have been lost.
There are thousands of people working tirelessly to make a difference to the mental health of Australians and they should be recognised for their leadership.
This is the goal of the Australian Mental Health Prize, established by UNSW Sydney, to acknowledge those who are doing innovative work in areas such as advocacy, research or community service.
Nominations are now open and we strongly encourage people across the country to help us honour the mental health heroes in your community.
This year, the prize has expanded the nomination categories for the first time.
More information and nomination forms can be obtained from australianmentalhealthprize.org.au
Entries close on August 1.
For those who are living with the burden of mental illness every day, thank you for your support.
Lucy Brogden AM and Professsor Allan Fels OA, co-chairs of the Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Group
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