College News

Bushfire Appeal – Supporting Narelle Thompson

Click here to make a donation.

As everyone is aware, Queensland and much of the rest of Australia is experiencing unprecedented and hugely destructive bushfires. The media often focuses on the tragedy of house losses, but there is also a virtually silent tragedy occurring around Australia at the moment. For farmers, losing stock and grazing land can be very devastating too.

Narelle Thompson, our Curriculum Leader – The Arts and her husband Bill own a property in the Moorang area north-west of Aratula and it has been significantly affected by fire on the weekend of the 8 to 10 November. This is on top of struggling through one of the worst droughts on record. Although they were able to save their house from the fires, thank God, Bill and Narelle have suffered significant pasture and fencing losses. More than 90 per cent of their land has been burnt and is now useless until good rains come, and the grasses regrow, which could be months or years away.

As a result, the Thompsons are buying in hay at a cost of $2000 a load to feed their cattle and will need to re-fence at a cost of around $3000 per kilometre for materials, not including the labour costs to do the work. They are now looking to sell much of their cattle stock as it has become too expensive to feed them, despite the low price they will receive per head due to the drought. They are also facing the daunting prospect of having to shoot some of their cattle that developed lantana poisoning after eating lantana shoots when there was nothing else to eat following the fires. Their neighbours in the Moorang area are in the same devastating predicament as the fires destroyed more than 10,000 hectares of grazing land and 10 kilometres of fencing in and around the Thompson’s farm and those of their neighbours.

Narelle and Bill Thompson are past students of St Mary’s Primary School and St Mary’s College/St Edmund’s College. Narelle has spent the vast majority of her teaching career at SMC, with more than 35 years of committed service to the school and its students. In support of Narelle, Bill and their neighbours in the Moorang community, St Mary’s College is asking for your support by making a financial donation to our Bushfire Appeal.

Please support the Thompsons and families in the Moorang area by donating to help them recover from the destructive fires of the past few weeks which wiped out much of their pasture land and livelihood. Donations can be made here, or by visiting the St Mary’s College webiste.

Thank you for your support.

Simon Paxton