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Floods and Chalkboards in North West Queensland

14 Aug 2023

CRANAplus Member Paul Reeves, Clinical Nurse Coordinator, provides a snapshot of his recent work out in North West Queensland.

I am a CNC Remote Relief for North West Hos­pi­tal and Health these days. 

I have spe­cialised as a Casu­al Relief RN for Cairns and Tor­res Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice for six years but decid­ed to head out to the North West of Queensland.

[Dur­ing the flood­ing], Bur­ke­town was hit the worst. How­ev­er, waters head­ed south and passed through towns like Camooweal.

A new high­way bridge was built but even at approx­i­mate­ly 10 metres high was no match for the vol­ume of water head­ing to Camooweal.

Camooweal was cut off from both North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry and Mount Isa due to floods and road damage.

This affect­ed food and water sup­plies com­ing into the small town.

Some people’s hous­es were under­wa­ter and live­stock were trapped on patch­es of islands.

We were iso­lat­ed due to flood waters and dam­aged roads. There were risks dur­ing and after the flood. Espe­cial­ly mos­qui­to-borne virus­es and dis­eases like melioidosis.

The above pho­to is of Dajar­ra, two hours’ dri­ve south of Mount Isa. 

I built a huge chalk­board to help locals see our next spe­cial­ist and RFDS appointments.

Visu­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion engage­ment with the remote com­mu­ni­ties – keep­ing it sim­ple and informative.

Not seen in the pho­to is a pot of beau­ti­ful marigolds. A wel­com­ing sight for those enter­ing the clinic.

The last pho­to I took before the floods. This is the road head­ing towards the Camooweal Caves. 

I hope you enjoy the tour.

Inter­est­ed in shar­ing your expe­ri­ence of work­ing in remote health? Per­haps there is a top­ic that you would like to see cov­ered in the CRANAplus Mag­a­zine? Get in touch with your sto­ry or sug­ges­tion at communications@​CRANAplus.​org.​au