For those that follow this blog religiously my apologies for missing last week’s Friday blog. I had a really good reason – evacuated and homeless after the flooding that hit Brisbane, Australia the week of Jan 10-14. The house was unfortunately gutted underneath but the top storey remained high and dry thankfully so we’ve now got electricity and moved back in.
We’ve had numerous people come and help us work on the house. I even had two backpackers from Brazil helping out (visitors to Brisbane) and others travellers approached me to ask if they could assist! The guys from Brazil did a fantastic job on the garden.
Given Brisbane and Queensland are a huge part of our network, and travellers seem to want to help, here’s some ideas on how you, as travellers downunder, can assist Australians:
* Give to the Premier’s Flood Relief appeal. We know it’s hard when you’re travelling and you have hardly any money. But all money donated to this fund is going directly into the pockets of Queensland homes and families that have been devastated by floods.
* Buy local food. About $225 million of fruit and vegetables in Queensland were wiped out during the floods. This means the remaining supplies are of lesser quality and more expensive. Please don’t be fussy and do eat the blemished food. That way you are purchasing food from Queensland farmers and producers.
* Eat out locally. A lot of restaurants and food places are beginning to reopen, while some may be weeks yet. If you find a place that was flood affected, go in and give them some business.
* Register at Volunteering Queensland. Over 61,000 people have put down their names to assist in communities affected by floods. If you’re going to be here for some time sign up yourself.
* Join the Brisbane City Council volunteer groups. The masses assembled by the Council that were taken around the city and to other regional areas in the days just after the floods in the southeast have now stopped. However the Brisbane City Council has listed parks/gardens/areas that require cleaning still. The idea is to just head down there yourself and cleanup anything you can see. Alternatively if you have skills you can register in groups of 10-20 people with BCC (07 3403 8888) and they will match you up to areas in need of those skills. If you search for other local council websites from regional Queensland you may find similar volunteer opportunities.
* Visit Queensland. Need a holiday? Want to see some of the world’s most pristine beaches, friendliest people and amazing natural landscapes? Come on over. A lot of Queensland is open for business – you can check the Queenslandholidays.com.au website for details on areas affected and unaffected. Many of the most famous places like the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns and the Whitsundays remain unaffected. And even Brisbane is now returning to normal although some facilities remain closed such as the City Cats and Southbank.
* And of course the same goes for our Victorian friends who are still battling flood waters and an incredible inland sea of 40km in width and 90km in length.
Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at firstname.lastname@example.org