The fires that swept through country Victoria in 2009 were frightening and heart breaking. Hundreds of people lost their lives while trying to escape the night mare flames. People perished on the spot. Towns turned to ash.
It moved me so much I closed my clinic for two weeks and set up an Emergency Response Centre on the Gold Coast. I found a foot ball club house that donated their club and then it started.
Donations, out pouring of grief, and me orchestrating the whole show.
Each day I was on radio national doing a call out for supplies and had a system where I could have them delivered by Air Express (for free - thank you guys) to the tent cities.
By the second day (Monday) I had contacts in each tent city and made daily deliveries.
Things varied... on the Wednesday - four days after the fires we had a call to get horse bridles and drinking bowls for the animals that were left to defend for themselves in the hills around Kingslake that became a sealed-off crime scene.
We had requests for steel capped shoes for the volunteer fireman. I managed to get 50 shoes delivered from Beaudessert lions club and shipped them down over night. There were many other examples of this. By the Friday Red Cross Head office rang me and said they had no idea how I was doing what I was managing to do, but could I also take over helping people in the Far North Queensland who had simultaneously suffered mass floods. " No problem" I said.
Over the two weeks (and a good friend Carole took over from me after the two weeks as I was traveling overseas), we had shipped over 2500 boxed and sorted goods to Victoria and FNQ.
I started a program called " The Golden Wish" this was a system where people could send through a request to get goods to re-establish their lives. We assisted 13 families.
The golden wish was an item, they really wanted , it they could have anything. We had requests for teddy bears, wallets, foundation make up. It was really heart moving.