One year ago we witnessed nature at its worst and yet the best of humanity. That very day I started a list with a few phone numbers of strangers in boats to contact in the hope of getting help out to people who needed it.
Here we are 1 year on with a list of almost 300 names of people who contributed to Australia’s largest civilian rescue effort that sits on my computer, it deserves to be so much more than that. To me this list has been about quantifying and solidifying the event in Australian history but also to acknowledge the efforts of the boaties. There was no debrief or mental health support offered to them after the event, if this was ever to happen again that must change.
The mental toll of their actions cannot be forgotten, recognising the unique experience of these heroes will help contribute to the necessary healing this community needs when one year later many people are still not back in their homes.
We think they all deserve to be recognised for their bravery but have no contact details for most of them. If you know the person who rescued you, or the story and contact details of any of the boaties please nominate them directly to the Australian Bravery Decorations team via the link below. All entries for boaties will be collated to paint the picture of each person nominated.
We were so proud to see our list hanging from the ceiling into a boat at the Rescue exhibition but sadly it won’t last forever. We would love to have a permanent plaque displayed in Lismore as a show of gratitude to those who literally saved the town.
There will be a lot of pollies in town over the coming weeks please respectfully let them know it is important to our community. It would be great to get it formally committed to.
To nominate someone, complete the Australian Bravery Decorations Nomination Form.
The Rescue exhibit shows stories and portraits of civilian rescuers from the February 2022 flood BY JEANTI ST CLAIR and RAIMOND DE WEERDT. FEBRUARY 24 – MARCH 18. Visit Flood Stories for more details.