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Rocking out a boost for Callide region's flood relief

ROCKING BACK: Country music star Beccy Cole performing at Rise and Shine, the State Government’s free flood recovery concert held at Rockhampton Heritage Village on the weekend.
ROCKING BACK: Country music star Beccy Cole performing at Rise and Shine, the State Government’s free flood recovery concert held at Rockhampton Heritage Village on the weekend. Sharyn Oneill Roksrise

HIT three times by this summer's nightmare floods, residents of the Callide Valley could do with a hand up.

Instead, they're putting their hands together, for dozens of volunteers who have helped them start to get their lives - and fences - back together.

Complete with entertainment, sizzling snags, and a dessert bar, the Blaze Aid Appreciation BBQ in Jambin on Friday will be a thank you for thousands of hours of work.

Narelle Cruickshank is one of two counsellors working with Anglicare's Community Recovery and Wellbeing Program in Biloela.

The program's began following the 2010/11 floods, and while hard-hit communities throughout the Callide Valley are still getting back on their feet, Mrs Cruickshank said grateful locals just wanted a chance to thank those who have helped out with the recovery.

"These communities were hit three times in the space of three weeks - in that situation; you need all the help you can get."

The free Blaze Aid Appreciation BBQ is at the Jambin Hotel on Friday, May 10 from 6pm, and will include also jumping castles and face painting for kids.

It's followed by a free BBQ and games afternoon at Goovigen sports ground on Saturday, May 11 from 2pm.

The region has already hosted a string of flood recovery parties, including the Rise and Shine tour, which played Rockhampton and Biloela on the weekend.

Mrs Cruickshank said the events would give locals a chance to relax, after what's been a challenging three months.

The agency is determined to deliver as much support as it can to the community, before funding for the program runs out at the end of June.

Dululu local coordinated Blaze Aid workers after floods

DULULU resident Col Vardy, 62, volunteered to coordinate Blaze Aid workers to fix the region's fences back in March.

"A lot of (locals) are shy about getting us to go and do jobs - everyone always says, there's somebody worse off than us!" he said.

"But we just plug along - you see the look on the face of the farmer when we get out there, they're just so lost.

"Then you get ten people, and say, stand back, just watch this!"

The national charity's motto is "Not just rebuilding fences, but helping rebuild lives".

Since March, nearly 40 volunteers have come from all over Australia and even internationally, to help the cause - and few have fencing experience.

"But it's still worth it - one place we worked on, we saved those farmers 25 days labour, and you know they appreciate it."

TEAM WORK: Blaze Aid volunteers based in Wowan-Dululu helped Callide Valley farmers mend fencing after summer’s floods.
TEAM WORK: Blaze Aid volunteers based in Wowan-Dululu helped Callide Valley farmers mend fencing after summer’s floods. Contributed

Topics:  callide dululu floods oswald volunteers



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