Erika used to be a credit analyst, number crunching all day while she dreamed of an idyllic life on the land. But when she finally moved to a sheep farm an hour out of Geraldton, WA in February 2021, her dreams were shattered by disaster.
The WA-based farmer tells us that when Cyclone Seroja made landfall in April last year, it carved a path of destruction all the way from Carnarvon to Geraldton. And that included Erika’s 120-hectare property. Erika felt the wonderful future she’d imagined for so long was crumbling around her. As she describes it, the devastation was far reaching and in moments all the hard work she had put into her property was swept away. Facing a $450,000 damage bill, Erika was overwhelmed in darkness and she couldn’t see any way out.
That was before our Outback Links volunteer Rob turned up at Erika’s doorstep and his help brought a beautiful ray of hope.
For decades, Outback Links has been connecting generous volunteers with people in remote Australia undergoing hardships and challenges. Our volunteers can turn a person’s life around by showing they care. It takes just one pair of helping hands to make a huge difference.
Erika tells us, “Frontier Services literally saved my life! The help and support I received will never be forgotten. Looking at the damage the cyclone left behind on my home and property, I went into deep shock. Everything had been smashed and there was a fire hazard. I couldn’t eat and I was an emotional wreck. My friends feared for my life. But when Rob arrived, it was a lifesaving moment. I was new to farming, new to fencing. Little by little, we started to rebuild what was lost.”
“Frontier Services literally saved my life! Little by little, we started to rebuild what was lost.”
Soon, Erika received her next set of volunteers – Sean and Lowenna, who continued to help her with the many jobs that needed to be done on the property. Erika says, “It was quite some rough weather when they arrived, and it came in the way of their work. But they didn’t give up. They helped with the clearing, helped fix the dog kennel, and even helped me fix the windmill on the farm.”
As we go to print, our volunteers Ron and Gwen are making their way back home after spending a week lending their helping hands to Erika, to assist in rebuilding her life. Talking about the impact of Outback Links on her situation, Erika’s gratitude shines through.
“After the cyclone, people were staring down the barrel of significant damage bills and the enormity of the situation. I know many who sold up and left town. Without the help of Frontier Services, I would have been one of them.”
Erika has a message for everyone out there who wants to give volunteering a go. She says, “If any of the volunteers are looking for a place to go camping, they have got somewhere to come to for life! Any help, however small, goes a long way, and friendships are made that last forever.”
We couldn’t agree more, Erika!
If you are able, please donate using the form below, so more volunteers can help more farmers like Erika.