Flood Stories

“Southies don’t run, mate”. Jack is quoted in today’s Sydney Morning Herald feature about the catastrophic Lismore floods, four months ago.

The heartwrenching article was written by Heath Gilmore, and the beautiful photograph of Jack and Sam was taken by Jacklyn Wagner.

The awesome thing about both journalists is they’re “locals”. They’re not “fly-in/fly-out” journalists only interested in a headline. Heath was born and raised in Lismore, and his family still lives locally. Jacklyn is a long-term local. Both care deeply about the town, its future, and the people they’ve spoken to. Both have told me covering the story has been an emotional experience.

Jack and Sam in the Sydney Morning Herald Pic: Jacklyn Wagner
Jack in today's "Sydney Morning Herald" Pic: Jacklyn Wagner
Jack in today’s “Sydney Morning Herald” Pic: Jacklyn Wagner

Other family members, Karran, Willow, Shyloh, and Ryan were all photographed by Jacklyn who showed considerable care as she worked with my family members (and many others) on the photographs.

The article says state member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin is working with Jacklyn on an exhibition of photographs to show at the NSW Parliament, and there’s hope a book will be published to raise money and awareness. I’m hoping I’ll be in Sydney for the opening, to see the other photographs. I suspect it will be an emotional experience, as the stories are recounted.

Pat and Jack are “moving home” this weekend, and the article talks about how he and many others want to say, despite the urgings of other people they should pack up and move.

Sitting on the bare boards of the kitchen floor as they spoke, I was one of those who nodded, holding back some tears.

In the midst of all the tears from Lismore, this flood rescue story in today’s Sydney Morning Herald is giving locals a lot of laughs. I love the way Nikki told the story so clearly, and how Heath captured it.

Nickerless Nikki


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