I'm on the Gold Coast at the moment, and watching the immensely terrifying coverage of the Queensland floods on television over the past few weeks has been devastating (and now, there's flooding happening in Victoria as well). My heart breaks for everyone affected by the floods, who've lost so much (I can't even begin to fathom losing my home and everything I own in such a sudden and awful way, let alone losing a family member or friend). But it gives you real hope, seeing how Australians have helped each other in the recovery effort (which is sure to be a long one). Hopefully good things will come of the disaster (strengthened communities and lifelong friendships and who knows what else).
If you're a writer looking for a way to help out, check out the Writers Auction For Queensland Flood Appeal (organised by the amazing Em Gale and Kate Gordon) - many wonderful books and critiques are up for grabs - and 100 Stories For Queensland - both wonderful ideas and great ways to contribute to the recovery effort. (You can also donate to the QLD Premiers Flood Relief Appeal - even if you live overseas!)