Harry's View on the impact heavy rain has on fossicking in Sapphire.
Harry's View on the impact heavy rain has on fossicking in Sapphire.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Who to turn to in times of despair


Salvation Army support

My name is Samantha Jade and I have had the absolute pleasure of working with The Salvation Army for the past few years.

I have been lucky enough to visit many communities across Australia with The Salvos, all of which were incredibly special and memorable.

As another Australian summer has passed, and after seeing the bushfires in my hometown of Perth recently, I wanted to share my experiences from last year with The Salvos; a story which came full circle.

The year 2020 started with the devastating black summer bushfires.

Hard working Aussies who had spent their lives dedicated to their homes and land, saw them destroyed by the disaster.

In late January 2020, I joined the Salvos with a special mission to visit and help some of the communities that were fire-ravaged.

Experiencing this impact first-hand was incredibly confronting and heart-breaking.

The wider-community of Batemans Bay so graciously allowed The Salvos and I into their town to see and hear about the devastating impact the disaster had on them.

Although I had seen the news coverage and posts on social media, nothing came close to the real thing.

Whilst speaking to these strong people, I was reminded of how resilient and selfless Australian people are.

I will never forget the conversation I had with a man who was experiencing the mental health impacts of the traumatic fires.

He said he feared he would never be able to enjoy a sunset or sunrise again.

Within seconds, a member of The Salvos team took him aside to listen to his story and give him some words of encouragement; something so simple yet so powerful.

My heart broke on that trip.

As we drove back to Sydney, where life seemed to be going on as normal, it never left my mind that there were people suffering and starting from scratch every day.

I wanted to do more.

So, when I was asked to return to Batemans Bay late last year to see the incredible progress the town had made with the help of the Salvos, I jumped at the opportunity.

The change was enormous and breathtaking to witness.

My friends and I decided to sing at every place we visited.

We believe the healing power of music is unmatched, with the unique ability to bring people from different backgrounds and circumstances together.

Through song, we wanted to give a little back to the incredible people of Batemans Bay, who had given us so much.

This experience was truly life changing my team and I and we wouldn't have been able to live it without The Salvos.

As we move into 2021, there is an overwhelming air of uncertainty.

We have all experienced the insecurity of the pandemic, with some of us feeling like we don't know where to turn or how to go on.

We feel alone and forgotten about, scared and helpless.

It feels as if there is no one to turn to.

But then I think of the incredible people of The Salvation Army who dedicate their lives to making people feel safe and heard.

This gives me faith in humanity to know that those in need will be helped, people struggling to find a way will be given hope, and through all the bad in this world there is an Army who show us first hand that love is the strongest tool of all.

For that I am forever grateful.

On behalf of The Salvos, I want to thank the Australian public for their incredible support and generosity over the past year.

Without you, The Salvos wouldn't be able to continue their life-changing work, and stories like these wouldn't be possible.

From the bottom of my heart, thank-you Australia.

- Samantha Jade, Salvation Army Ambassador




Harry's View on the impact heavy rain has on fossicking in Sapphire.
Harry's View on the impact heavy rain has on fossicking in Sapphire.




The PM has been called upon to stop the rollout of the AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccine over growing health concerns. What do you think?

Joanne Coulter: No..those with underlying medical conditions such as clotting disorders need to disclose before having the vaccine so can be given under medical supervision just as those who have a history of allergies. If in doubt disclose all.

Maureen E McKenzie: FGS roll it out. Would be sensible to check ppls medical history of cause.

Janet Iffinger: Use evidence based sources.

Christie Green: There isn't enough research.

Cathy Collinson: Stop!

Stephen Smyth: Keep it going!

Lyn Edmistone: Yes, stop it.

Trevor Scrimshaw: It's a subject that only the very top echelon of health advisers should comment on. Listen only to the relevant authorities.



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