28 Jul 2017

Queenslanders dig deep for the State Emergency Service

NAB’s Queensland customers have rallied behind those affected by Cyclone Debbie, with more than $30,000 in matched funds donated to the State Emergency Service.

NAB’s state General Manager of Retail, Paul Collins, met with SES Assistant Commissioner Peter Jeffrey this week and handed over $32,000 raised through donations in NAB branches.

After meeting with the Assistant Commissioner at the Queensland emergency services complex, Mr Collins said the natural disaster had brought out the best in people.

“I heard so many great stories where our local people on the ground were not only impacted, but were helping their neighbours and the community,” Mr Collins said.

“On a couple of occasions people explained it to me as ‘we don’t just talk about it, we do it’, and I think that’s reflected when we’re raising money. Everyone chips in if it’s helping out a fellow Queenslander.”

Mr Collins visited the regions impacted by Cyclone Debbie after it passed and said the resilience of local communities is what stood out most to him.

“People in these areas are unfortunately used to regular climatic events, so it’s not new to them,” he said.

“Their ability to respond quickly serves them well. For example, at the local pub, there was no carpet on the floor, but it was still operating. People learn to adapt to the circumstances they’re in.”

Having lived and worked in northern Queensland for many years, Mr Collins is no stranger to weather events.

“I remember the first cyclone I went through clearly. Our neighbour was with us and we had taped up all the windows and were as prepared as we could be. I looked outside, across our front veranda and asked ‘what do we do now?’ and he said ‘we wait’. It’s just all about being prepared.”

The Cyclone Debbie Appeal was on top of the $300,000 NAB donated to the Red Cross earlier this year and $100,000 to Good Shepherd Microfinance to help low income Australians affected by the disaster.

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