Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

Ipswich: After the Floods

12 residents of Warrane College venture into Queensland to help victims of the Ipswich flood in 2011

Twelve Warrane residents recently returned from a workcamp in Queensland assisting with the recovery in flood-affected areas. They were located in Ipswich, where many houses had been completely submerged by the floods of January this year (2011).

The Warrane group travelled by bus to Ipswich, leaving college at 5am and arriving at 7pm, before getting up for work at 7am the next day.

There were many houses in Ipswich which were still dilapidated from the floods 6 months earlier. The scale of the damage was confronting, according to Miguel Paredes, Assistant Dean of Warrane and leader of the group. “You can read about the flood damage and watch it on TV,” he said, “but until you actually see it for yourself, you just can’t comprehend the sheer amount of devastation”.

The work done by the Warrane group to repair the devastated houses included internal demolition and removal of plaster to make way for new walls and ceilings. In addition, the houses were given thorough cleanings and sprayings. The Warrane residents were told that due to their work on multiple houses, the Ipswich residents of those homes could move back in very soon.

The Ipswich City Council was greatly appreciative of the work done by the Warrane residents. Mayor Paul Pisasale personally thanked the group and presented each Warrane resident with an individual signed certificate of appreciation. The Warrane group was also told that they were very welcome to come back and work again in the future. The project was also reported in the Queensland Times.

Following a full week of intense work, it was time for the Warrane residents to get back on the bus and return to Sydney. After another all-day bus trip, the residents returned home, reinvigorated for the second semester. As Warrane engineering student Jack Johnson remarked: “The experience gave me a real sense that we achieved something during the holidays, so I feel ready to get back to uni study now.”

(a gallery of photos from the workcamp is available here)