A collection of oral history recordings, photographs, hand drawn maps, videos and speech notes relating to the 2011 Queensland floods and the major flood event that occurred in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley region on 10 January 2011: a flash flood (described as an ‘inland tsunami’) which devastatingly took 21 human lives. The collection, amassed by Toowoomba-based journalist Amanda Gearing for her Master of Arts degree, includes 86 oral history recordings of flood survivors and rescuers in Spring Bluff, Murphys Creek, Toowoomba, Withcott, Postmans Ridge, Helidon, Carpendale and Grantham as well as digital photographs and videos taken by a number of those interviewed including those taken by Amanda Gearing and other locals. The interviews are very personal and powerful recollections of the experience of the flood event. Some recall feelings of fear and despair and tell of trauma and loss which continues well after the flood event. All are stories of resilience and hope, of rebuilding lives, of lessons learnt, and recommendations in order to avoid the same devastating results in future disasters.
Amanda Gearing is an award winning Journalist, Author and Broadcaster based in Brisbane, Queensland.