Inspired to help after fires raged through Cobargo on the NSW south coast, youth worker Nicqui Yazdi has assembled a crew to assist impacted residents.
She says she was ‘shocked at the extent of the damage to this small community,’ after seeing footage posted on social media by former Byron locals Mike and Khilass Nicholas.
‘Realising that there would be lots of tents discarded from the Falls Festival, I contacted [co-organiser] Brandon Saul and asked could we potentially go in and collect tents and other camping items. Of course he said yes’.
She says, ‘I then started to put a crew of volunteers together to do some sort of collection’.
Yazdi says Brandon connected her with Grace, one of the Falls workers, and they set a plan in motion, which incuded recruiting volunteers to sort and load tents onto a truck.
‘Grace organised for alerts to be sent to camping patrons at the Falls Festival, via SMS and through social media and their own message boards, asking patrons that if they would like to donate any of their tents, and sleeping and camping goods, to pack them up nicely and take them to the campground marshals in their areas as they were leaving.
‘I contacted a few people I knew who had trucks and someone suggested calling Mullumbimby Removals, and in just one quick call it all came together perfectly.
‘Adam from Mullumbimby Removals told me that they already had a truck headed for Cobargo, due to be there early next week, and that we would have to pack it on Friday.
‘It was perfect timing for the end of the Falls Festival and the camping pack-down.
‘When the loaded truck from Mullumbimby Removals leaves the depot, the drivers won’t know what they are headed into, as these fires down south are a long way from over.
‘But their planned destination at the moment is the Cobargo Showgrounds, made infamous last week when the PM visited there on Thursday and no-one wanted to shake his hand’.