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Aussies: Down but not out this Australia Day

It’s been a devastating start to the New Year for many families and businesses in Australia, and our hearts and thoughts are with them.

As the devastating floods continue to wreak havoc even today, we see feelings of fear, shock, sadness, heartbreak and also pride and admiration shared by Aussies as Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales deal with some of the most devastating floods to hit Australia.

Australia Day Australian MadeAnd despite Mother Nature throwing everything she has at us, the Aussie spirit of mateship has endured. In country towns and major cities, complete strangers have come together as volunteers to clean up the streets, houses and businesses and help kick start the rebuilding process.

And with Australia Day this week it’s an opportunity to not only reflect on Australia as a nation, but recognise each person who in their own way has worked hard and contributed vital assistance, be it if they were affected themselves or they have helped following the floods.

From the emergency services and the tens of thousands of volunteers who arrived with gumboots, gloves and brooms, to the neighbours who helped each other and the strangers who provided (and continue to provide) understanding, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, muscle to help clean up, a meal or a dry bed – you give hope to the communities affected.   You all know who you are and you are all Australia’s heroes.

A wonderful example is Baked Relief, http://bakedrelief.org/ #bakedrelief. An initiative from Danielle Crismani (@digellabakes) who has moved an army of volunteers to bake and deliver food for thousands of residents, workers and volunteers in flood affected areas of Queensland. Love, dedication, commitment, Aussie spirit and even social media demonstrated its power in helping move this army.  What an inspiration!  And this is only one of many examples of how communities are helping each other any way they can.

Tributes have been flowing in from around the country, and the world, for the strength of the Aussie spirit when times are tough. But I’d also like to pay tribute to the small business owners in the affected areas who symbolize everything that is great about Aussies, and who will be the key to the community’s rebuilding long after the attention of the world has moved elsewhere.

While it’s been a tough few years for many businesses in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, they have persevered and right now business owners and their employees are showing the rest of Australia and the world just how resilient they are.

They’re coping with restricted or no access to homes, businesses and services, total devastation, heartbreak and sadness, the mess of the massive clean-up, and constant concern about the safety of family.  Yet despite all of this adversity, they’re working hard to get their businesses back to normal.

So, I’d like to suggest a small way to support those small business owners that have been impacted by the floods. You might also like to share some words of inspiration, which will be helpful for the rebuilding ahead.

In addition to donating, there’s a small act that can support businesses and help make a long-term difference to the community. While it’s certainly not immediately business as usual right now for every business in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, over the coming months you could find a business based in the flood affection regions, maybe online, locally, or on your next trip interstate, and purchase something from them.

It may seem small but it’s a place to start.

What do you think?

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Julian Smith

Julian Smith

Julian Smith is responsible for MYOB’s corporate affairs, government and public relations in Australia and New Zealand and is also New Zealand general manager. The qualified lawyer has spent much of his career at large multinationals in a range of senior legal, sales, marketing and customer management roles. Julian is a regular keynote speaker and business commentator and sits on a number of government and industry boards and advisory panels. Julian can be found on Twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/JulianTSmith">@JulianTSmith</a> or contacted via email Julian.smith@myob.com

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