Dear QWaLC Members

I want to touch base with you on behalf of the Board and staff of QWaLC to let you know that we are thinking of you, your loved ones and your communities at this difficult time.

Following hot on the heels of the drought (still ongoing in a lot of areas), the fires, the floods, and the plagues of moths and locusts that some areas have experienced, COVID-19 is the last thing we needed but it is here and we have to deal with it and with the ongoing effects for the foreseeable future.

Like myself, many of our membership are ‘senior’ land carers and it is vital that you take the time to assess your risks and put whatever practices in place you can to minimise these risks – practices such as effective handwashing, social distancing and other recommended and mandated actions such as avoiding gathering in groups.  See the Queensland State Government website and QWaLC website for a fuller explanation of actions that you can take to protect yourself, your family and friends and your community as much as possible.

When this passes we will need all hands on deck, particularly the experience of our ‘senior’ members as well as the energy and drive of the young and young at heart, to ensure that our movement continues and that the effects of the fires, floods and droughts continue to be addressed on-ground.  This means that we each need to take care of ourselves – put the necessary processes in place to lesson risk, continue to listen to the authorities as things change, cancel gatherings until advised that it is safe to reschedule them and look to non-contact ways (telephone, email, Facebook, zoom) to continue to support each other and those in your communities if you are able.  Please stay safe and well but if you do become unwell, take the necessary action as advised by the authorities.

If you are presently the recipient of a Grant for activities that require groups of people to participate, please contact your grant provider to arrange an extension period. There appears to be no formal policy announced on this at the moment but, through my network I have examples of this happening.

We look forward to continuing to support you and your group however we are able as we weather this storm together.  Part of our upcoming work will be to distribute the Certificates of Insurance to groups that have completed the Annual Membership and Insurance Survey.  Our plan is to have these emailed before the end of March so watch out for them.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Executive Officer Darryl if you have questions or concerns.

Yours faithfully

Geoff Elliot, QWaLC Chair