The Big Lift 2011

Where we went...

Muswellbrook, Narrabri, Warialda, Stanthorpe, Brisbane, Valla Beach and back to Sydney!

What we did...

Here we were generously hosted by the local PCYC, where we woke up to a delicious bacon and eggs breakfast. After the most important meal of the day, there were a number of jobs we were involved in, including concreting, painting and gardening at the PCYC, gardening at two local childcare centres and scrubbing a local church from top to bottom.

Staying at the wonderfully decorated Nurruby Childcare Centre, the team had a cosy sleep and come morning, were ready to get to work. Half the team went to the Narrabri Ability Support Service, a group home for women. They shovelled 6 tonnes of dirt, weeded garden beds, and did other maintenance odd-jobs around the place. The second group assisted at the Mercy Respite village, doing similar tasks as well as constructing a fence.

Upon our arrival at Warialda Showgrounds (our home for the night) we were treated to a feast. Fuelled up and ready to work, we split off into our service projects the following morning, working at 8 different places around Warialda: the local preschool, primary school and high schools, the stream that runs through the town, the historic Carinda House, the local Anglican and Presbyterian churches, the Hospital and the Bowling Club.

Although we stayed at the Balladean Soccer Club, we unfortunately didn't have time for a match. Early in the morning, most of the team boarded the bus to go to our next projects, at the Girraween National Park and the Stanthorpe Community Gardens. 18 students went to the Girraween National Park, moving and sandbagging decomposed granite to help recover the popular Junction Track that was affected by the January floods. The Community Gardens team built a rammed earth wall, dug trenches to drain water away and laid the groundwork for new garden beds. A small number of Big Lifters stayed behind to mow the lawns and do maintenance at the soccer club.

Brisbane was our celebration city. Here we were lucky enough to spend two nights. We occupied our days in a couple of ways. First, the team formed several smaller teams to perform random acts of kindness around the city. This included a hospital visit, free hugs, singing and dancing in public places, cheer letters and free ice creams. The goal here was nothing more than to put a smile on someone's face. Following this, the team entered the revered 'Bigmazing Race' which was a scavenger hunt, spreading our blue shirts far and wide across the city of Brisbane.

Valla Beach
Here the team took the night to reflect on experiences and focus on how the spirit of helping and empowering others can be carried on once we return home.


To read more about our day-to-day activities and the impact of the trip, check out our blog!