Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The photo says it all




I didn't want to show any more photos of the total devastation of parts of our beautiful state, I'm sure you've all seen so much in the media since Saturday. But I couldn't resist this image that's been shown around. I'm not sure where it originated from but this really is two 'true blue' Aussies.

Thank you so much to everyone here and world wide for your concerns and support. The state of Victoria is in shock, it's surreal, and it's not over yet. Driving home tonight I could see smoke not all that far away from home, not threatening at this stage and the weather is cooler, we just have to hope the wind doesn't change direction. I was talking to my sister and she had to go, she lives not far from where the main fires at Kinglake went through. They had seen smoke again near Kangaroo Ground which is close to them, again the threat is there.

I've had many people ask if they could help. The authorities are saying they have been inundated with clothes, food, bedding etc.,they have so much they don't have storage space. They are now asking if people would like to help could they please donate money.

The Red Cross and Salvation Army are holding appeals, the links are to their web sites if any one is able to help.
The money goes directly to the victims to buy clothes etc.

I think the whole of Victoria wishes to thank the wonderful work of the CFA (country fire authority), like the guy in the photo. These people are all volunteers, men and women, young and old, who go out to fight these fires, risking their lives to save others. The co-ordination between them, the police, the state emergency service and the paramedics has been amazing. They learnt so much after Ash Wednesday.

They are now having to re think the strategies and plans for fighting fires, realizing that these could become more common events as the world heats up, no amount of planning can compete with such high temperatures, and ferocious winds, as they said, nothing could have beaten Saturday's fires.

I'm also amazed at the resilience of the human race. I don't know if it's just the Aussie spirit or if it's a global thing. There have been almost 200 people killed now with the toll expected to rise to possibly 300, and still people who have lost everything are anxious to get back to their properties and re build. I think you would call it 'true grit'.

38 comments:

Sam Marshall said...

Hi Ro,
Thank you for posting this photo. It really does symbolise the Aussie spirit. My thoughts and prayers go out to all victims of these fires.
xx

magikquilter said...

Great post Ro and hope your sister is okay. I agree that we will have to rethink the stay and fight or leave early...I do think children or minors should have mandatory evacuation at a certain point...although in this case it sounds like it was so fast in places that may not have helped. I just read about Flowerdale though...and they did evacuate their women and children.....and the men stayed and saved the pub and the community hall...although they lost four out of five homes in the town

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25033006-5018722,00.html

that is also a quintesentially Australian thing as is your photo

Dave King said...

Somehow, something like that, though totally untypical, puts things back into a lost perspective. I admire the bravery that let you take and show that in the circumstances.

Kim said...

Doesn't this photo just say it all. Thanks for sharing this one. My father is one of the volunteer fire fighters and is out there now somewhere. This pic just shows how truly special they are and how hard these events are on our wildlife.

Judy Scott said...

thankyou Ro for letting us know how we can help ~ the photo is so precious and made me smile ~ take care

Maria said...

So glad that you & your family are all safe ... praying that it will remain so & praying for rain,
Maria xoxo

Elizabeth said...

What an amazing photo!! Find the hope and the love in it!! We must all thank each other for what comes forth in the face of such tragedy!! We all dig deep when we see and experience such events. It speaks to our basic needs - to help and to unite!! Firefighters are the angels amoung us in a tangible form. We have many angels amoung us- the animals are as well.
Hugs and healing to you dear friend!!
Elizabeth

Leslie Avon Miller said...

The innocent are victims. I am so moved by this image of a gesture of kindness. I am sure kind acts continue to happen one by one. Tragedy does bring out the best in people. Kindness, fierce courage, generosity, humbleness. Sending healing thoughts and thanks for the link to the Red Cross.

Judy Wise said...

At last there is something we can do to help. The photo is so beautiful; we continue to pray for the recovery of all touched by the devastation. And thank you, Ro, for your posts which have kept us informed.

femminismo said...

So glad to hear from you and really know you are OK. Would be happy to send something on via Salvation Army. Thanks to all the heroes! The photo is truly wonderful. Very inspiring. Jeanne in Oregon

Chris said...

Ro, thank you for this personal perspective on this big challenge we've been hearing about. It is so true about people and our resilience, and also how we work together even though so much of the time we hear about dissent and conflict. What is important always comes clear.

All good wishes and dreams and white light to you.

Shayla said...

Hello Ro,
That's such a touching photo and yes, that attitude or "grit" as you put it is admirable indeed.

Belinda said...

Hi Ro owe this photo made me cry because it reminds us not only have we lost many lives but countless animals as well. Thank you for showing another side to this. I hope your sister is safe. I'm glad the weather has cooled some. Take care. Belinda xxx

Doreen G said...

It makes me proud to be an Aussie when I see photos like this.
Take care

katie jane said...

Yes, I agree, these people are couragous and are true heros. I have been thinking of all your lost wildlife, both animal and plant. How tragic for all. And so sad to have lost so many people. My heart is with you and your country as you recover from so much devastation.

Gunnels blog said...

Hi Ro, thanks for sharing! So terrible you have it, I can see here in Sweden and read about it in our newspaper too!

Jen Crossley said...

Dear Ro,
The past couple of days have just been like a nightmare for those touched by the fires.Im so glad Your okay I was really worried about you.Its times like these you appreciate your friends and loved one
Take care and be safe
Jen

jo said...

Hi RoTried to post a comment yesterday, but my computer was playing up.
You have been in my thoughts and prayers over the past week, with the high temps and the bushfires. I am so relieved you are all safe!!!
Its so very sad seeing all the media coverage and very surreal.
Crossing my fingers for a big lotto win so we can help with a big donation and also come over to help with rebuilding. But in the meantime we are doing all we kind to help over here.
I just adore that photo of the CFA volunteer and the koala, it just captures so much without the need for words!
Please let us know if you know of any other ways we can help, we really do feel helpless over here.
With much love,
Jo
Artistic Journey

An Altered Life said...

What a great photo, it breaks my heart though.
I was in Australia decades ago and I remeber there being bad fires somewhere and all of the kangaroos were fleeing into peoples yards.
Such a tragedy for your beautiful country then, and now. I hope the spirit of your land is not broken during these difficult times.
Sending much aloha your way!

cathsheard said...

What a wonderful photo. I am so pleased you are ok. I cry a little every time I watch the news...

enchantedcurious said...

thinking of you
xxx
mandy

mandapanda said...

I know where it came from. The firefighters were driving around re-checking areas when they came upon her (Sam the koala) and they walked up to her and the fireman offered the bottle of water and she put her paw out and guzzled it up. She ended up drinking 3 whole bottles altogether! The other fireman took videa footage and that's where the picture comes from. Beautiful isn't it?! I cried happy tears for the first time this week when I saw it, and then sad tears again when they showed another koala who was badly burned, and when they picked her up she "screamed". Oh it just broke my heart! I wanted to go to her and tell her everything would be alright! If only I lived in Vic and not QLD I would be there along side the RSPCA or W.I.R.E.S or Wildlife Vic tending to these poor darlings!
I hope your sister is still ok. I heard something about Kangaroo Ground on tv but can't remember what exactly. And I hope the fires don't change direction again and come back near you. Actually, I hope they saty exactly where they are and not destroy another blade of grass. It rained here last night and I wished so so hard that we could send it down to you. We're flooding here and you guys need it!
Anyway...I think I've out-written myself. Prayers and thoughts are with all of you down there.
Manda. xxx

susanna said...

I just saw images of what's been happening in Australia over the weekend in Canada. It's horrifying. I just can't imagine WHY anyone would want to start a fire...WHY??? It just makes me so angry...

But this photo is wonderful and brings tears to my eyes. Yes, Australians are resilient.

Ann Christine Dennison said...

It really makes me sad that such devastation should happen! I hope you and all of your family and friends are OK. I sometimes wonder what is happening on our little world, it is such a tragedy when something like this happens, both for the people the wildlife. The great thing is that people get together and help each other in a crisis and show that they are very much caring. This is a very touching photo!!!

Julie said...

I'm glad to hear you are still safe Ro. I hadn't seen that photo before, it's a poignant image. I have posted links on my blog in the UK to the various relief appeal sites and to people gathering handmade items to distribute. It feels very little in the circumstances. I hope your sister stays safe and that the fires are soon out.

Jackie said...

Very moving photograph. The need of the little koala and the generosity of the firefighter.

Kris said...

Hi Ro-
The people of Australia have certainly been in my thoughts. That photo is so touching! I agree with Sam Marshall, the Aussie spirit is to be admired.
take care,
k

Emmy said...

hi so good to hear from you this picture say it al I wish you all the best take care

Lost Aussie said...

Dear Ro, So glad to hear you and your family are safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone over there.
xoox

Deirdra Doan said...

Oh I hope you and yours are well...how awful.

You make the best best stamps..so inspiring.

Thanks so much for sharing about Corrine...she is a cutie from what she wrote me.

Many blessings.
ox

Joy Logan said...

Ive been thinking about you and any of the others I've known on line from down there. The pic is adorable. Hoping things will look up very soon for all!

Gaby Bee said...

I am so pleased you and your family are ok. The photo of the little koala is really great. Thanks for posting.
Take care
Gaby

Candace said...

Great great post, Ro. To me, the koala and the 'roo symbolize your wonderful country and the metaphor side by side with the reality was breathtaking in scope.

My kindest thoughts as I prepare my donations and my deepest wishes for you and yours -- all of yours. And all of them and theirs.
World without End...

Your Friend,
Candace

Leslie said...

Oh, I love this photo. The firefighter was interviewed on US television the other morning. So touching.

Such a tragedy. I feel for everyone involved.

Anonymous said...

We just went through this here in CA. I live close to Santa Cruz. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family... and your countrymen.
stephanie t.

Cre8Tiva said...

having lived thru hurricanes i understand the confusion and sense of nothing is normal anymore...i am still praying for your beautiful country...i have missed you...happy valentines day a little late...rebecca

mary schweitzer said...

My thoughts are with you all.
Mary

Robyn said...

The photograph breaks my heart. Such a tough time you all have had. You are in my prayers.