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Healing in the Kimberley

A recovery update on the Kimberley Floods

In January 2023, the aftermath of ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie saw flooding inundate homes and communities across the Kimberley region in Western Australia.

The recovery has been complicated by the increasing cost of living, and the remoteness of the impacted areas. Despite these barriers, GIVIT continues to work with the Department of Communities to get essential items and services to people affected.

People need the basics

Engagement Officer Sarah with four female recovery workers standing in front of boxes of swags.In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, it's crucial that people affected can access basics such as shelter, food and water.

With so many homes and communities affected, Marninwarntikura Women's Resource Centre was finding overcrowding was a problem in unaffected homes, and many people were sleeping without bedding. GIVIT provided the service with swags to distribute to community, as well as camp chairs so people had somewhere to sit and rest.

We also provided the organisation with fuel vouchers to assist people displaced.

Winter clothing and other essentials

A male and female staff member from MWW excitedly opening a box full of phones and sim cards.

Marra Worra Worra Aboriginal Corporation are the oldest and largest Aboriginal Resource Agency in the Kimberley, so working with them to get supplies to remote communities has been important.

With many remote communities cut off by floodwaters following the event, it was tough for people impacted to communicate and access support. GIVIT provided Marra Worra Worra with phones and sim cards to distribute to communities to ensure people could stay in touch with loved ones and contact support organisations.

 

Engagement Officer dropping off warm clothing to MWW.

 

Marra Worra Worra operate a night patrol program for youth in Fiztroy Crossing. During winter, the organisation identified that many families whose homes had been flooded were yet to replace ruined clothing, so local children and teenagers had no warm clothes for the cold. MWW were finding that children were gathering in other people's houses that had blankets, warm clothing or heating.

GIVIT provided hundreds of jumpers, tracksuit pants and blankets for the service to provide to young people.

 

Face to face support is crucial

Engagement Officer Lisa with a staff member from Shire of Derby / West Kimberley standing in front of a pull up bannerEarly on we identified the importance of getting boots on the ground in the flood-impacted Kimberley to engage with the community, show our support, and educate recovery organisations on how to use GIVIT to get essential items and services to flood-affected residents.

Engagement Officer Lisa, based in Broome, regularly visits Derby and Fitzroy Crossing to meet with recovery organisations, train not-for-profits and charities registered with GIVIT, and drop off donations.

Visiting affected areas is also an opportunity to spread the word about GIVIT, so organisations working in recovery can register to place requests, and so people who've been affected are aware of GIVIT as an avenue for support.

Shortly after the Kimberley Floods, a staff member from Goolarri Radio, a community radio station with a First Nations focus, uploaded a time and skills offer to GIVIT's online warehouse to assist with promoting GIVIT's role in the recovery. Sarah dropped into Goolarri (image below middle) and chatted with Matty J about how locals could access help.

6,732 Items & services provided to flood-impacted Kimberley communities*

22 Support organisations in the region have received donated items, services or vouchers*

$118,793 In donated funds spent buying essential items and services*

Donations of funds means immediate support

Department of Communities staff purachasing essential items at a supermarket.Following the floods, GIVIT's support focused on providing vouchers to support organisations working in recovery, and we sometimes get questions on why we ask our supporters to FUND requests rather than donate items.

The homes of a mum and her five young children was inundated during the floods, and they fled Fitzroy Crossing wearing only the clothes they were wearing. They were staying in Derby in temporary accommodation, and were sleeping on mattresses on the floor with no bedding. There were also very few kitchen items for cooking and eating.

Thanks to generous donors, GIVIT provided the funds for the request, and support workers were able to quickly go shopping in Derby, and drop off the bedding and kitchen items to the family. 

Especially in regional areas like this, donating funds is a practical, efficient way to get essential items to people who've been affected.

A First Nations Woman holding a box with hanging storage inside.Needs change as recovery progresses

As time passes and people return to their homes and see what they've lost, local support organisations are able to further identify what's needed to help people as they recover.

In the case of a large family in Fitzroy Crossing, the need was storage. With floodwaters destroying their furniture and cupboards, they were still storing their clothing and other belongings on the floor. This made them feel unprepared for the next wet season and possible flood.

GIVIT provided storage boxes and hanging storage so the family could store their clothes off the ground.

 

Engagement Officer Lisa handing donated school bags over to a support organisation worker, both standing on red dirt next to a 4wd.

 

 

In a remote flood-impacted community, the help required was in the form of school bags for local kids. The school said that the flood added to the financial hardship already facing many local families. Many kids weren't coming to school, and those who attended didn't have basic essentials.

GIVIT provided the school with school bags for the students to organise the things they need and make them feel independent and valued.

Help for mums and bubs

Staff from Nindilingarri with donated blankets.Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services runs a maternal health promotion program to support and improve the health of pregnant First Nations women and their babies. The pregnancy group aims to empower women by their understanding of how to keep themselves and their babies healthy.

The program supports families across 35 remote Aboriginal communities, all of which are around four hours from the closest shopping centre. Many locals in these communities are yet to replace their cars which were destroyed in their floods. 

Thanks to corporate partner Hanes Brands Australasia, GIVIT provided hundreds of baby blankets to Nindilingarri. The new blankets will help mums feel excited and looked after as they welcome their new babies, and give them peace of mind to let their babies sleep in their own bed.

 

 

How you can help

This recovery is expected to take some time. GIVIT will be here as a long-term support for the communities impacted.

You can see below the essential items and services that are still needed by people affected by the Kimberley Floods. Consider donating money by clicking on the FUND button next to a request. 100% of publicly donated money received by GIVIT for this appeal will be used to buy exactly what's needed by people impacted by flooding in the Kimberley region.

See what people need right now

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Fitzroy Crossing
WA 6765

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Fitzroy Crossing
WA 6765

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Drop off
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Fitzroy Crossing
WA 6765

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Drop off
Post / Courier
Voucher

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Fitzroy Crossing
WA 6765

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Drop off
Post / Courier
Voucher

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Fitzroy Crossing
WA 6765

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Drop off
Post / Courier
Voucher

Area

Fitzroy Crossing
WA 6765

Delivery

Drop off
Post / Courier
Voucher

Area

Fitzroy Crossing
WA 6765

Delivery

Drop off
Post / Courier
Voucher

Area

Fitzroy Crossing
WA 6765

Delivery

Drop off
Post / Courier
Voucher

Area

Fitzroy Crossing
WA 6765

Delivery

Drop off
Post / Courier
Voucher

Area

Fitzroy Crossing
WA 6765

Frequently asked questions

*Data as at 12 October 2023.

National Disaster and Emergency Partner

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