Last week was a tough week. In a tough month. In a tough few years. Yet I don't want to focus on the negative this week.
On Sunday the ABC aired the first episode of Fires, a drama based on the 2019 - 2020 Black Summer bushfires and it was tough having such a stark visual reminder of those times.
That terrible chapter in our Shire's history was two years ago, but it feels like yesterday. And I'm still so proud of how our community responded and continues to respond.
In particular, it reminded me of the many, many individuals who stepped up. Heroes in so many forms.
Then this year we had the floods in March. Again, in the midst of such disaster, there were too many individuals carrying out incredible work to possibly count.
I've said before and will undoubtedly say again, our Kempsey community is phenomenal in our ability not only to survive disaster, but to stand up and protect and look after each other.
And now we face another lockdown. We face cases in our midst. We face difficult choices. Unlike a fire or a flood we can't see the danger, or even all agree on how to fight it.
We should however be able to agree on the fact that there are people who are once again stepping up. Members of our community whose first thoughts are to help others.
Medical professionals who are conducting tests, treating patients and giving vaccinations. Police and health workers who are actively, willingly spend time with people who they know are infected in order to conduct tracing and better protect the community.
There are those who are putting together care packages. Those who are reaching out to others during isolation.
Then there are those who are making it work during isolation. Small business owners and staff once again coming up with creative ways to keep trading (and if you haven't checked out our #KempseyCares posts and suggestions on how to help please do).
There are essential workers, including many of our Council outdoor staff, adding masks and hygiene measures to their daily routine.
There are the volunteer groups that already do so much in our community who are working to keep it up. Look at Baylin's Gift, running "30 days of an OK trip down memory lane" so that they can still celebrate It's OK on the Macleay in September, regardless of the health orders.
And there is you. Reading this. You who have survived all this and continue to weather this storm.
Soon, we will call for nominations for our Australia Day Awards that recognise some of our great citizens each year.
For now, I'm feeling like we are surrounded by heroes, and I hope you will consider those around you who deserve recognition.
Also making the news:
- Funding increased to fix our local roads
- Kempsey's Thelma Thompson celebrates turning 100
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