Jenny Woodward meets the principal of a regional school devastated in Queensland’s floods.
Source: 7.30 Queensland
Duration: 4min 4sec
Topics: schools, community-and-society, floods, human-interest, people, rural, community-development, regional, qld, murphys-creek-4352
JESSICA van VONDEREN: When the EKKA opens in just under a fortnight, organisers hope to showcase regional areas that were hard hit by the summer floods. A gesture of goodwill from the RNA saw kids from the devastated Murphy’s Creek state school perform the official opening. And they’ll be treated to a day at the show. Jenny Woodward spoke to the school’s principal Jo Sinclair-Jones.
JENNY WOODWARD: Jo thanks for joining us, what was your reaction when you found out you’d been invited to launch the EKKA this year?
JO SINCLAIR-JONES, MURPHY’S CREEK STATE SCHOOL: Well actually it was a little bit of a surprise and I’d have to say I was a little bit overwhelmed by it all and thinking that we’re a little school in the middle of nowhere really and we get invited to come here, so yes I was very overwhelmed.
JO SINCLAIR-JONES: It is an honour and a privilege to be here today to launch the 2011 EKKA.
CHILDREN AT PRESENTATION: We are proud to declare the 2011 Royal Queensland show opened.
JENNY WOODWARD: And how big is the school how many students do you have?
JO SINCLAIR-JONES: There are approximately 60 students at the moment. We did have a few more but from the floods, we’ve had houses washed away, so there’s not as many there they’ve had to move on to Toowoomba.
JENNY WOODWARD: Did you come to the EKKA as a child? What are your memories?
JO SINCLAIR-JONES: Actually, No I didn’t however my father did come down to the event and he would always come back with his stories, of the EKKA and the cattleman’s bar, and he always bought home show bags and it was like Christmas, when that happened. It was lovely.
JENNY WOODWARD: Murphy’s Creek was really hard hit by the floods how are people coping there now?
JO SINCLAIR-JONES: Oh look we have our highs and lows still, but I guess we’re a very close community, a very tight knit community and everyone is very supportive of one another, and we’re getting through it, it’s a lovely little place that is looking at a bright future now.
JENNY WOODWARD: And what was the impact of the flood on the school itself Jo?
JO SINCLAIR-JONES: Look I think it was, in terms of the buildings and that sort of thing we were ok. However half of the school, the back half of the school was flooded where we call the inland Tsunami went through, and it took out our junior school playground and our back oval, so that was quite devastating. And just to look at it was not a nice thing, so we had a fence put up so we didn’t have to view all that. It’s hard to talk about still a little bit we had two staff members pass away, from the school, so that was very that was a huge impact on us.
JENNY WOODWARD: How many staff members do you have?
JO SINCLAIR-JONES: We’re only a small school we have 10 to 15, some full time some part time.
JENNY WOODWARD: And how long have you been there?
JO SINCLAIR-JONES: This will be my fourth year at the school, so yeah.
JENNY WOODWARD: So what’s planned for your day at the EKKA when you come down here?
JO SINCLAIR-JONES: Actually a lot, we’re going to see the animals, of course, and experience the whole show, but hopefully we won’t go to side show alley. Although I think the children would like that. But we’ll definitely get some sample bags.
JENNY WOODWARD: Sounds great, thanks you very much for talking to me.
JO SINCLAIR-JONES: Thank you very much.
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