In a show of community unity locals get together and say
In a show of community unity locals get together and say "thanks" to all emergency crews who have helped to get the Whitsunday back on track. Peter Carruthers

A big thank you from the heart of the reef

EASTER is a celebration of resurrection.

And it was for this reason that Good Friday was chosen as the day to celebrate the resurrection of the Whitsundays after Cyclone Debbie wreaked widespread havoc on the region just over two weeks ago.

The successful bouncing back of the community is owed in no small part to the titanic effort made by an army of emergency service workers.

It was on these workers that the sincerest of "thank you's" was bestowed by the Whitsunday community in a special message of gratitude from the heart of the reef.

The show of support was organised by IT and Admin support officer for Vision Surveys, Nadine Ballance-Cole.

Locals get together and say
Locals get together and say "thanks" to all emergency crews who have helped to get the Whitsunday back on track. Peter Carruthers

Ms Ballance-Cole said she woke up on Monday morning and realised that "so much had been done” and she has "so much to be grateful for”.

"It's impossible to get to everyone and thank them individually. You do your part on Facebook but I thought how much better would it be to stand up united and get it on the news and shout out to the volunteers at home reading the newspaper,” she said.

"This is us congregating together in a massive thanks to them.”

Ms Ballance-Cole said the message from the heart of the reef was made for the Ergon Energy workers, the SES, the ADF, the QFES and all the amazing volunteers that had made the recovery of the Whitsundays possible.

Whitsunday kids say
Whitsunday kids say "thanks" from the heart of the reef. Peter Carruthers

"I know people, some friends from school, who have taken five hours out of their Saturday to go and help people in need when they themselves have lost so much,” Ms Ballance-Cole said.

"It's so beautiful to see so many people stand together.”

Perhaps a cliché, but one founded in truth, Ms Ballance-Cole said the people of Queensland were an incredibly resilient mob who never failed to find a silver lining and hope even in their darkest hours.

"We definitely bounce back quite well. No matter how bad and desolate they have been they can actually get up and still find the energy to support others and have a positive attitude and get back to work,” she said.

Cr Jan Clifford at the heart of the reef show of support for emergency crews.
Cr Jan Clifford at the heart of the reef show of support for emergency crews. Peter Carruthers

Ms Ballance-Cole mentioned the paradox created in the lives of Whitsunday people by Cyclone Debbie.

There is no denying the destructive power of Debbie, and also, no one can dispute the power Debbie has to unite a community and bring out the best in us all.

This was certainly the case at the Airlie Beach foreshore this morning when more than 100 people got together to thank everyone that has helped to get the Whitsundays back on its feet.


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