Three weeks into the 2019 school year, North Queensland was ravaged by flood.
Hundreds of kilometres south of the disaster, Nambour Christian College was busy supporting seven of its boarding students whose family properties were devastated in the disaster.
Clare Gallagher’s family lost more than 1500 head of cattle from their Normanton property.
“My parents and two little sisters got stranded. Mum told me it rained for two weeks and it just looked like an inland sea with water as far as the eye could see and cattle were standing on the roofs and on verandahs to get away from the water,” Miss Gallagher said.
“It’s hard for people here to understand how hard it is to have your whole lifestyle just washed away, everything you’ve worked for throughout your life just gone.”
For affected families, keeping some semblance of normality was essential to their children’s health and well-being and through the crisis, dozens of non-government schools helped ease the financial burden by absorbing fees or other costs to keep students in school surrounded by their support network of teachers and friends.
“Nambour Christian College went above and beyond to help these students and their families recover,” declared Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien.
“I am delighted to announce NCC will receive more than $10,500 from the Morrison Government’s Special Circumstances Funding in recognition of the school’s contribution to its students during this disaster.”
Acting Head of NCC’s Senior School, Loida Paterson thanked the Federal Government for the funds.
“We really appreciate our students being able to be supported financially and while we do all that we can, we do very much appreciate the money that our Federal Government has been able to give to us, so we’re very grateful as I know the families from Normanton and Karumba are also,” Mrs Paterson said.
“This Government funding is incredibly important to help the recovery in our flood-affected community and to ensure our schools can continue to provide a top-quality education while impacted families get back on their feet,” Mr O’Brien said.
More than 600 students across 25 non-government schools in Queensland will benefit from the Special Circumstances Funding.