All schools of the Maitland – Newcastle Diocese closed throughout the flood period of late April, some for a day, others for the week. Some schools in the north of the Broken Bay Diocese closed for periods of time.
Photos of schools overwhelmingly affected are above; travel in the area was severely affected at different and unpredictable times, making it difficult for teachers and support staff to calculate travel to and from schools that were open in the region.
Kelly Pearson teacher at All Saints St Mary’s campus, lives at Gilleston Heights, one of the inundated areas. Kelly said “I wasn’t able to get through to my school, and had Year 12 students doing their assessments. It’s been such an anxious time, worried about my own children, husband and my mother’s day to day safety but also my Year 12 students doing important assessments. It’s been a period without power, internet, phones and mobiles, and roads have been completely flooded. I couldn’t even send class material to other teachers or receive work from students. I’ve been helping at the community hall because there are so many families that have been affected, it’s a time when we pull together as a community.”
Members in the flood ravaged regions of the Hunter, Central Coast, Illawarra and parts of Sydney, have managed to meet and support their union’s negotiations, while also assisting their school and local communities.