We have certainly had plenty of the flooding rains of late, hopefully enough to break the drought that had been impacting many parts of the country for several years!
The quote(s) are from a poem that I suspect every Australian school student will study at some point. It will stick in the minds of many as it epitomises many of the unique aspects of the country and the aspirations of the people.
It also speaks to me about another attribute of resilience that I have not talked about previously.
“Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold -“
Today is the 2nd anniversary of the Victorian bushfires (2009), a major disaster in which 173 peple died and 414 were injured and over 4,500 square kilometres were burnt out.
As people pause to remember that disaster, about 1/3 of the state of Victoria is flood affected, and a lot of people are being evacuated from their homes. In some cases the same communities impacted by fires only 2 years ago.
As they did last time, they will return and rebuild their communities and their businesses.
Victoria is the most heavily populated state in Australia (and the smallest by area). The state is about 237,000 square kilometres, and has a population of around 5.5 million.
By contrast, Queensland is large and not very densely populated. It had also been severly impacted by flooding of late and just last week was hit by a cyclone.
“Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!”
The floods impacted 3/4 of the state, and the cyclone hit a good chunk of the rest. By way of comparison Queensland is 4x the size of Japan, 6x the size of the UK and more than 2x the size of Texas. Fortunately, and part of the reason there have been so few casualties, there are only 4.5 million people.
These people will also rebuild their communities and have demonstrated a wonderful sense of solidarity with numerous volunteers turning out to assist others in the worst impacted neighbourhoods.
In both Queensland and Victoria, some people will just move away and start again somewhere else – the rebuilding will be too much for them to bear.
Events such as these illustrate something that I think is missing from a lot of the discussion about resilience for corporates. I think people need to have a passion for the entity or community they are associated with, otherwise there will be little real resilience.
To build resilience people have to be willing to go the extra mile, not just go though the motions.
Do your people care enough about the corporation to become truly resilient?
Resilience is a product of a culture – shared values and beliefs about what is acceptable behaviour and acceptable goals.
The call to resilience continues in the final lines of the poem, the sentiments more evident to those who share the experiences and values she describes.
“An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.”