Community Spirit

Fire and Floods – Australia’s first month of 2013

Wow what a month! It feel like the Mayans may have had it right after all!

Bushfires have ravaged Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales…

So many people have lost their homes, their possessions and so much land now lies in a smouldering ruin. I take nothing away from the human element of this tragedy but I can’t help but think about the wildlife and how this has affected them.


Koala caught in the Victorian bushfire (image by M Fillinger)

Koala caught in the Victorian bushfire (image by M Fillinger)

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New Years Resolution – Help build our community spirit

Happy New Year!

It feels a little forced. The merriment feels a little shallow.

We may have survived the Mayan Apocalypse but 2012 saw so many people subjected to tough austerity measures and mounting debts, as their country tried desperately to hold it together whilst the battered economy threatens to pull everything apart. So many people around the world are caught up in riots, wars or are simply struggling to survive.


Even here in Australia, that has remained resilient so far, there has been a change. I am seeing a lot more streets with empty shops and “for lease” signs as small businesses feel the impact.


In hard times it is easy to feel isolated and alone. It is a sign of the way our communities are structured that we can communicate with people thousands of miles away at the touch of a button yet we may not know the person who live 3 doors down.


Why do we no longer seek out the wisdom from the older member of our community?
Is it a bi-product of the meteoric speed that technology is changing how we communicate and creating a gap between those that embrace it and those that are struggling to keep up?


American artist and visionary Candy Chang has found a way to make a real positive contribution to her local community. She has embraced her love of her home in New Orleans and uses the public spaces she shares with her neighbours to serve as the catalyst.


Her tools are simple – stickers, stencils and chalk… Continue reading

Queensland Floods – The day after tomorrow…

Brisbane by night

It has been a long week for everyone but from out of the mud, Brisbane is beginning to reappear. I know that it will take time to rebuild and longer to get over what has happened. I am sure for many it will be some time before they can truly let go and move on. Continue reading

Queensland Floods – The Aftermath

A Homestead near Rockhampton during the Flood (photo by Rob Maccoll)


As anyone who has seen the news of late and after weeks of torrential rains, floods have swept through Queensland taking lives, displacing untold families and wreaking havoc in their wake. Even now it is hard to come to terms with the damage that has been wrought to the area. Continue reading