Former Grantham family Danny (the lamb), Simone, Mika, Bushy and Layla Campbell are trying to get their lives back on track since moving to Warwick.
Former Grantham family Danny (the lamb), Simone, Mika, Bushy and Layla Campbell are trying to get their lives back on track since moving to Warwick. Jenna Cairney

Family finds refuge on the Downs

AS the Lockyer Valley paused to remember the first anniversary of last year's life destroying floods, the emotions are still too raw for former Black Duck Valley resident Bushy Campbell.

He, his wife Simone and daughters Mika (8) and Layla (2), are now adopted Rose City residents after the flooding left their property marooned and the family was homeless.

Despite being a year since the tragedy, this week's memorial services are a painful reminder the family would prefer not to endure.

"I don't want to relive it," Mr Campbell said.

"We've lost a lot of friends and friends have lost their homes, cars, everything they own - whole lives have been lost."

Mr Campbell said he and his family haven't been back to Grantham since and are avoiding returning.

"I'm supposed to go back and pick up a motorbike but we just don't want to see what's left of it," Mr Campbell said.

During the floods, a last-minute decision to have choppers airlift the female family members to the Gold Coast instead of a home in Grantham, saved their lives and for that the family is forever thankful.

Mr Campbell stayed on the property for as long as he could but when they learned roads wouldn't be rebuilt for years, they had to accept they would have to start a new life elsewhere and moved firstly to Maryvale with not much more than a few belongings and leaving the rest of their worldly possessions at their property.

It was St Mary's Parish and School as well as community members far and wide that reached out to the family, who now reside on a property not far from Wheatvale.

The family initially lived in a property in Maryvale until moving into the St Mary's parish house.

"The people of Warwick have been brilliant," Mr Campbell said.

"And we've made so many friends."

Eldest daughter Mika has embraced the change, particularly pleased with now attending the school rather than her previous home schooling arrangement.

Eternally grateful for the support received from the Warwick community, Mrs Campbell is still philosophical about the loss of their own belongings.

"Sometimes we get materialistic in life," she said.

"We learned it was just stuff and it didn't matter because we had our family.

"I'm learning not to be attached to material things when so many people lost loved ones."

But now renting a property outside of Warwick, the family is still finding it hard to fully settle in a place they don't own.

Their former property is on the market and this year they hope they will be able to sell, buy another property and get their life finally back on track.


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