Thursday, February 7, 2013

CQ a land of extremes

I am sure we would all agree that Central Queenslanders live in one of the best regions of Australia (if not the world). It seems however the only downside is our extreme and incredibly unpredictable weather. 

Only two years since we witnessed devastating flooding that covered most of the State and the unthinkable has happened – another flood and more devastation – this time having unprecedented impacts.

The Bundaberg and Burnett regions were the most severely affected with Gladstone, Rockhampton and the Fraser Coast also suffering. It is pretty unbelievable this has happened, not just because it seems like yesterday the people of CQ were cleaning up after the last deluge, but because up until just before the Australia Day long weekend we were enjoying some of the best weather our great state has to offer.

The catastrophic flooding in Bundaberg has really hit home hard for us here at CQUniversity, the news that some of our staff and students were affected has devastated the whole CQUniversity community. The thoughts of everyone at CQUniversity have been with our colleagues, students and friends in Bundaberg over the past week.

Some of the great CQUni staff volunteering at the fundraising BBQ

It is however times like these that I am also glad we are one of Australia’s most engaged universities – as soon as word came in about the situation,  our fabulous employees acted and came up with ways to help the community. Many staff in Bundaberg joined the mud army or helped friends and family, a collection was established for books and school supplies for one of the local school’s that was inundated by flood waters and our metro campuses held umbrella fundraising morning teas which raised almost $1500. This morning in Rockhampton we also held a free community fundraising breakfast. It was a great turnout with staff and students volunteering cook breakfast and collect donations, further to this I am pleased to announce that this event raised more than $2000.

I’d really like to thank everyone involved in these terrific engagement activities so far (especially those that had to get up at 4.30am this morning). Your efforts make CQUniversity great and epitomise true community spirit and engagement!

The umbrella fundraising morning tea at The CQUniversity Melbourne Campus

Finally, I'm aware of a number of staff and students who have been personally hard hit by the floods, and for some it will be a long road back to normality; to those people, please know that you continue to be in my thoughts, particularly as we undertake these fundraising and engagement efforts.

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