The Dolby Family need your help!!
We have recently been effected by the floods in the Lismore area which turned our whole world upside down on the 28th February 2022; this is a date I feel will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Myself and my husband life on a 165 acre property with his mother in a small town of East Coraki.
This family farm has been in the Dolby name for as long as anyone can remember.
We built a workers quarters on the property as my husband Scott’s father got ill with cancer and for his mother to be safe an to ensure the farm stayed within the name we did this as this was all we could do to assist her in the most horrible time in her life; to loose her life partner and one of the most amazing men who ever walked this earth.
On the morning of the 28th February 2022 at 2am my husband and I woke and decided that we would lift our possessions as high as we could; which in time we would find was not high enough.
10am hit on the 28th February 2022 and we knew we were in trouble. By this time we were unable to exit the property by road and the threat to us, our homes and our livestock got greater and greater as the minutes passed.
We had the call to SES with a plea of rescue as Scott’s mum being 68 and the prospect of her safety become heavy and heavy on our shoulders.
11am came and we still had yet to be rescued and I had contact with my parents in Coraki who first hand co-ordinated our rescue with SES on the ground as the water was rising and rising; at this point we were at the highest point on the property being ankle deep and still no boat in sight.
I took 1 last look out behind our home to our 11 cattle; 1 being a pet/fur child I had hand reared and he saw me as his mother to be honest it was like having a 500kg dog which my husband fondly calling him my therapy cow; on bad days my husband would find me cuddling and brushing him in the paddock to change the dark to light in any day.
Seeing the cattle struggling to stand on a small rise in the paddock with the water rising over their backs and up their necks absolutely broke me as my animals are my children.
11:30am hits and seeing my father in orange hi vis in the SES boat is something I will never forget, knowing that we were going to be ok and safe.
We were able to get Scott’s mum in the boat; I was next with my 3 year old Minnie foxie looking down and seeing 1 bag each of possessions left from everything we had worked so hard for.
Now for my husband to make it into the boat; by this time it was waist deep on him and the push over the levy bank towards the farm house was incredibly strong almost taking him with the rath of the water; he had to push the boat away from the old farm house to save it; if not we were going to be going through it as the water was unruly.
We were luckier than some we were able to make it out safely but seeing everything you had worked so hard for being battered by the water was heart breaking.
The boat trip to safety was so scary; there was so many obstacles and cattle all loosing their lives to the unforgiving rain bomb causing this disaster.
Upon returning to our home 3 days after the ordeal due to the water taking so long to subside shattered the small pieces of what remained of our hearts.
Water had come through the house at waist height losing everything; no cattle to be seen, cars inundated with water and mud.
Taking that initial walk through our homes; I have no words and can I say that has not changed either.
There is now piles out the from of both homes of our lives memories and they are in piles which will be taken away like rubbish but it is far from that.
We unfortunately have no flood insurance for anything on the home as we would have been faced with a bill of $40 thousand dollars per year to obtain that level of coverage.
The farm house had housed the Dolby family for generations and the prospect of that ending is adding to the heavy heart of typing this email and asking for help; as we are not eligible for any assistance as Scott and myself work and due to Scott’s mum being on a pension and she earns more money on the pension that off the farm as we share farm our sugar cane due to not having time or the resources to be able to run it ourselves.
Dolby’s are never ones to advise of their issues but are ones to just keep going but we are unsure how to.