The McIndoe family worked from dawn to dusk during the floods.
The McIndoe family worked from dawn to dusk during the floods. Judi Graphics Photography

Emerald mum nominated as hero

THE January floods were enough to dampen anyone’s spirits, but Tracy McIndoe and her family didn’t let it get them down and were always there to lend a helping hand in the community.

The cleaning, washing and cooking didn’t go unnoticed either, as Tracy has been nominated as a hero under the Premier Anna Bligh’s Queensland Disaster Heroes program.

Tracy said she was shocked, humbled and even a little embarrassed to be nominated for the program as she believed she didn’t do anything beyond her call of duty as a neighbour and a friend.

“We did it as a family and we didn’t do anything above and beyond community spirit,” Tracy said.

Tracy and her husband Alan invited three other families into their four-bedroom home during the floods and had about 15 people coming and going for meals, drinks and a clean change of clothes.

The family was kept busy, helping their neighbours sandbag homes and move belongings.

When the clean-up began, Tracy was even busier, helping to salvage and clean endless loads of muddied clothes, linen and dishes.

“We basically worked from five in the morning until dark at night,” Tracy said.

The McIndoe’s even threw a New Year’s Eve party in a bid to offer some light-hearted entertainment.

“People were really down so the kids ran around and door-knocked and invited them to the party,” Tracy said.

Tracy said while her family had not lost anything in the floods, it was a very tiring experience.

“Emotionally you try and support everybody else,” Tracy said.

“There are times when you want to fall in a heap, but you look at the other people who have lost so much and think you have to be strong for them.”

Tracy said it was “pretty gut-wrenching” to see the community hit so soon after the 2008 deluge.

“We have a very strong community and if somebody needs a hand, there’s always someone there to give it.”

Nominations for the Queensland Disaster Heroes program close on Friday, April 1, and heroes will be announced during Queensland Week from June 4 to 13.

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