I had to fly to Sydney this morning on an early flight. When I woke up I just couldn't get Greensburg out of my mind. I decided that I would ring the Greensburg Council and see if I could speak to the Mayor. I wasn't sure what I would say or even why I was ringing, I just knew we could learn from what they had done after their town was devastated by a tornado in May 2007.
I rang and gave a brief explanation of who I was and they put me on to Bob Dixson, the Mayor of Greensburg. I told Bob about Flowerdale and how we were running a community led model for recovery, just like them. Bob said, "I am coming to Melbourne in late June,to present at a Sustainability conference, I would love to come up and talk to your community".
I suppose that is what serendipity is about, people helping each other in the face of adversity, reaching out, telling our story and things falling into place.
Flowerdale has been through the horror of Black Saturday and things are tough out there but the willingness of people, both within the community and others from outside, to work on coming through the disaster whether in Australia or throughout the world gives a level of hope and confidence that Flowerdale will come out of the disaster so much stronger.
It made me feel pretty emotional, I hope that any resident who reads this gets a lift in the knowledge that there are people out there who have been through similar adversities and can help us come out of this better and stronger than before.
Thanks to Bob and the people of Greensburg for showing us that you can come out the other side and also their willingness to share what they have learnt.