SESVA Committee member Phillip Petersen reports following a radio interview today, I have become aware of two books written by Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) senior journalist Ian Mannix. Ian is also ABC manager for ensuring ABC is remains available to communities in time disaster. I had the good fortune to meet Ian at the AFAC Conference in SA a few years ago. We discussed his role and how he portable broadcast transmitters that can be sent by air at any moment should an ABC transmitter fail, especially in a current disaster area. ABC is the authorised broadcasting agency and works with state and federal emergency service agencies. He related some interesting human behavior following the Queenslandfloods.
Great Australian Flood Stories
This collection of fifteen accounts of flood by ABC senior journalist Ian Mannix, relates the stories of Australians caught in flood, from Grantham to Mackay, Kempsey to Bullita Station. In recent years, flood has devastated the wide brown land, in some instances bringing much-needed relief from drought, but in many others, bringing tragedy, homelessness and despair.
From the 1970s to the present day, Ian Mannix charts the pattern of floods in Australia, and recounts many stories, from the story of two local women trapped in a house infested with snakes as the flood waters rose ever higher, to the daring helicopter rescues of the townsfolk of Newry in Gippsland and the brave truck driver who saved the town of Charleville in Queensland by putting levee walls in place against oncoming flood, and with all the odds stacked against him. And of course, he examines the causes and effects of the devastating floods in Queensland in 2010-2011, which have taken so many lives.
Great Australian Bushfire Stories
‘The biggest cleared area was my vegetable patch…I ran and lay down and made a little tent over myself. I thought it would preserve the last of the oxygen. Under the blanket I could hear explosions — the gas bottles from the houses further up, and I could just imagine all my neighbours dead up the road. The wind was roaring, the trees cracking: an awful lot of noise…I thought I wasn’t going to survive.’
Great Australian Bushfire Stories is a collection of remarkable tales from all around Australia that tell of our country’s fiercest natural phenomenon: the bushfire. Farmers, landowners, firefighters and city dwellers share with ABC journalist Ian Mannix their experiences of fires: preparing for them, fighting them, and the heartbreak task of mopping up when even their best efforts failed. Some stories are funny, some tragic, many courageous, but all are a testimony to the ingenuity and grit of human beings as they fight to save their homes, their towns and, in some cases, their lives.
(The book cover photo looks one of the winning emergency photo winners taken Perth hills bushfires. Phillip)
I believe Ian would make a great speaker for future SES/FESA conferences and I have passed on his details to the relevent person in FESA.