Queensland schools launch appeal for cyclone victims
Catholic schools in Queensland have launched an appeal to support the recovery of communities in North Queensland from the devastation of Cyclone Larry.
Joe McCorley, Executive Director of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, announced the appeal following a meeting of the directors of Catholic education from across Queensland.
He said each diocesan office would set up a special fund and undertake to co-ordinate the distribution of in-kind donations to support the recovery of affected communities in the north.
"While it was a relief that no-one was killed or seriously injured, the loss and devastation that students, staff and their families have suffered has been horrific," he said.
"Recovery will take time and the thoughts, prayers and support of the wider Catholic education community are with all in the affected region.
"We are encouraging Catholic school communities throughout Queensland to consider a fundraising event or collection of basic personal items or school resources to help people in these communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible."
Mr McCorley said Cairns Director of Catholic Education Services Carmel Ross and her team had acted quickly to make counselling and other support services available where possible, as well as assess damage and begin planning for repairs to commence.
According to reports from Cairns Catholic Education Services, all Catholic schools in the Diocese from Babinda south have suffered damage to varying degrees.
Good Counsel Primary school in Innisfail has been the worst affected with up to nine classrooms unroofed and seriously water-damaged, while St Rita's, South Johnstone and St John's, Silkwood have also lost roofing.
Meanwhile, the Queensland Bishops, gathered in an annual Conference this week, have issued a statement of support and sympathy "to all those whose lives and futures have been dramatically disrupted by Cyclone Larry."
"We are in solidarity with all affected in the North. We urge our Catholic people to support them in prayer and to respond generously in addressing the various needs which are now evident," the statement said.
The Bishops encouraged practical assistance, such as donations through any Commonwealth Bank branch or the Queensland St Vincent de Paul Society.
Catholic Education Launches Appeal to Support Cyclone Affected Schools and Communities (Queensland Catholic Education Commission 22/3/06)
Queensland Bishops' Message of Support to the People of North Queensland (Archdiocese of Brisbane 23/3/06)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Queensland Catholic Education Commission
Australia: church property destroyed as cyclone lashes Queensland (Independent Catholic News 23/3/06)
24 Mar 2006