Murwillumbah elders struggle in the March 2022 floods

Presented by Joel Walker.
Interviews by Jasmine Camp.
Produced by Monique Mita.

As the flooding in Murwillumbah began to unfold, it was clear the situation was going to be a trying test of the community’s emotional and practical resilience. We worked to record the experiences of elders in these floods and the lessons we can learn from them in dealing with extreme natural disasters in our climate-affected world. Guests Smokey and Julie reflect on how today’s centralised media environment and the loss of access to locally run radio affected their ability to engage with the unfolding disaster. Without hyper-local radio or electricity, current methods of disaster communication failed. As Dr Heather Anderson explains: the growing focus on national-level coverage has left local community radio behind. We also hear from Eddie and Barbara, whose account of the flooding is representative of the emotional turmoil these floods bring, and how recovery goes beyond the physical rebuilding. We spoke with Alison who helped elucidate the community’s kindness and the significant work that remains in ensuring elderly people are equally able to access information and assistance. We captured a range of experiences emblematic of the community’s strength and highlighted important future considerations for communication with elderly people. 

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