News

Heartbreaking poem makes impact

By Dairy News

THE REALITY of fire has been laid bare in a poem that has been shared on social media more than 6700 times.

The emotive statement by Corryong woman Georgia Wilson paints a grim picture for many farming families across the Upper Murray who were left with relatively nothing but burnt paddocks and dead stock.

But Georgia insists her Facebook post was one of hope.

"I wrote it to provide an insight into what farmers in, not only our area, but all fire-torn areas are facing," she said.

"Farming is a tough gig as it is, but these fires make it a thousand times harder.

"I think many people are making it a political debate and taking the focus away from all those who have been impacted and need help.

"My family has two different properties up Thowgla and Nariel Gap, which got completely burnt out, we lost some stock up at those farms but thought we would lose a lot more.

"However, we consider ourselves extremely lucky because the home farm with the dairy and house on it were not affected."

The poem steps out things "people may not really think about".

It is complete devastation.

It is utter heartbreak.

It is an emotional roller coaster.

It is having no sleep.

It is not knowing what to do next.

It is red, sore eyes

For Georgia and her family, the anxiety is not over yet.

"We’ve lost about 140 hectares, we are now farming off about 120, but due to our home farm not burning we still have a degree of anxiety about when and if the home farm will burn," she said.

"We are somewhat hesitant bringing all the cattle home off the burnt farms.

"We lost around 15 to 20 head which is nothing compared to others, however, we expected the whole lot to go with the ferocity of the fire."

If it wasn’t for Georgia and her mother’s bravery at 2 am one morning she believes they would have "lost a lot more".

"Mum and I went and got some of the cattle into the yards and just hoped for the best," she said.

"We are finding that as time goes by some of the cattle are deteriorating — the main problems are general burns, burnt feet and burnt eyes, it’s a pretty horrific scene.

"The reality is farmers hate seeing stock in pain and ultimately just want to do what is best for them, which could include having to shoot them."

The family also lost kilometres of fencing, a hay shed and multiple silage bales.

"After reading my post, I hope people have a bit more of an understanding to what the reality of fires are for many and the heartache it causes," Georgia said.

"They can then share it with all their friends so everyone can understand and continue to donate and support the families and communities that are doing it tough.

"I also hope that it makes farmers realise that they need to come together and help each other out."

It is complete devastation.

It is utter heartbreak.

It is an emotional roller coaster.

It is having no sleep.

It is not knowing what to do next.

It is red, sore eyes.

It is having no power or communication.

It is the separation of families.

It is grief. Anger. Guilt.

It is having to shoot your own cattle to put them out of their misery.

It is unpredictable.

It is sirens, red and blue flashing lights.

It is the sound of the emergency app, praying that it’s not getting close.

It is pouring thousands of litres of milk down the drain.

It is learning how to sacrifice.

It is hoping that those that are out fighting will return home safely.

It is thinking about all the “what ifs”.

It is watching tears stream down the face of some of the strongest people.

It is wondering when you’re going to wake up from this nightmare.

It is seeing many years of hard work burn in minutes.

It is watching your livelihood go up in flames.

This is the reality of fires. It hurts and no one can prepare you for it. With time, the grass will get greener and life will go back to the way it once was. We just have to remember that.