Some of you have lived through multiple catastrophic floods as residents of this town.
A state of emergency in 2006.
A national disaster in 1998.
Once in a century flooding happening more than once in a century.
And you’ve rebuilt your lives at great cost.
I know people in this town who came here to help build it. The roads. The RAAF base. The community.
Some were promised housing when they got here, yet after relocating their families they instead had to live in lean-tos by the riverbank.
I know some who raised families in abject conditions, and some amidst harsh domestic violence.
The ‘Bush Brothers’ who looked after the Anglican church back then lived in the back end of the Sidney Williams hut which was also the church.
It didn’t have the ‘amenities’ it does now – you know, ‘luxuries’ like a sealed floor and fans (and, even more recently, air conditioning).
I’ve met more recent residents who wear their residency in Katherine as a badge of toughness: ‘you can either hack it or you leave’. And although living here still requires a degree of toughness my hat goes off to you pioneers.
St Paul’s Anglican Church meets on Sundays at 9am with kids church. All welcome.