- Floraville Station in north-west Queensland is among the flood-hit properties taking part in the 10-Day Farming Family Challenge
- Graziers taking part in the challenge are building a community on social media by sharing positive images
- Dr Tim Driscoll from the Royal Flying Doctor Service says it can be helpful for people dealing with disasters to see stories of resilience
As part of the 10-Day Farming Family Challenge, graziers are uploading an image each day of a moment that has had an impact on them.
Kylie Camp is isolated by floodwater on Floraville Station in north-west Queensland’s Burke Shire, near the Gulf of Carpentaria, and has joined the challenge.
“In February we had the second biggest flood, with [the] majority of our dams still empty,” Ms Camp said.
“And now we’re cut off again.”
Workers on stations across the Gulf of Carpentaria have been dealing with grim conditions for feeder grass and dam levels as wet weather hits in patches.
Six days in, Floraville Station has been uploading photos of landscape shots and animals from the station including Brahman cattle, goats, guinea fowls and peacocks.
“I think the thing I like most about the station is the wide-open space,” Ms Camp said.
“There’s a lot of freedom in that.”
Building a community through social media is what draws Ms Camp to upload.
“I think if we can show some other people positive and real things that’s just great.”
Healing through sharing pictures
In the initial stages of a natural disaster, photos of devastation are immediately shared across social media and other platforms.
Tim Driscoll, from the Royal Flying Doctor Service, said that while disaster imagery was important in expressing just how much help was needed, it was just as vital to show the resilience of people working towards recovery.
“That’s where our focus needs to be,” Dr Driscoll said.
“There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Dr Driscoll also stressed that after devastation, it was sometimes encouraged to limit social media in order to avoid being “consumed” by images.
“We need a complete picture that things have been really hard, and then focus on moving forward,” he said.
“If the stories from 10-Day Farming Family Challenge are showing resilience, that can be really helpful for people.”
It is common to share stories of resilience following natural disasters, but Dr Driscoll said social media added another layer to the phenomenon.
Aussies love a good drop
People in outback Australia upload to social media as part of the ongoing discussion online about weather events.
Longreach grazier Jenny Gordon, who is an administrator for the Who Got the Rain Facebook page, which has almost 50,000 members nationally, said people’s moods could be detected from weather discussions.
“You can feel the atmosphere. Everyone is watching. Everyone is waiting,” Ms Gordon said.
With the arrival of autumn, graziers in northern Australia are holding their breath for their last chance of rain at the end of the wet season.
When any “rain event” happens, Ms Gordon receives a thousand photos a day.
She said it was a way to connect memories, smells, and the need to say “look at what’s happening!”.
“I feel suburban with my closest town a hundred kilometres away, but some have a six hour drive. It’s a way of connecting.”
Although the majority of photos are wholesome rain totals, Ms Gordon said photos that touched her the most were during north-west Queensland’s recent flooding disaster.
“If you go back to February, you had the joy of jumping in puddles to devastation on the other side. It’s good to see the lighter side coming out now.”
For 10-day challenger Kylie Camp on Floraville Station, the next photo will feature more family members working on the farm.
She said she must do her job as a mother and embarrass her children.
Source: ABC Rural