CDU staff and students pitch in to help flood-ravaged Katherine back to its feet 


Charles Darwin University’s Katherine Campus, 16 kilometres north of the town, has helped to provide assistance to businesses and residents affected by last week’s flooding.

The Katherine River peaked on Friday, forcing many people from their homes and prompting the NT Government to declare a State of Emergency, which has since been lifted.

The Katherine Campus (formerly the NT Rural College) was fortunate not to have been affected itself by the flooding.

Before roads re-opened, CDU staff and students were transported from the campus by boat into the CBD to assist with the re-opening of the main shopping centre, restoring some normality for residents.

Among these were nine students who volunteered on Saturday to restock shelves at a grocery store so that town residents could purchase much- needed food.

CDU has offered the use of its tractors, fire equipment and accommodation to the Recovery Committee.

University staff, working together with Bushfires NT have also volunteered to help residents and businesses clean up their houses and property with the use of high-pressure hoses.

Leading this effort is the University’s Residential Supervisor, Wendy Coghlan, who is also the Captain of the Katherine Bushfires Brigade.

CDU has released Wendy from her regular duties and she has already spent almost 30 hours with the Fire Brigade Officers attending to the recovery effort.

At CDU’s Town Centre, located in the Katherine Training Centre, Remote Field Officer Bronte Cooper co-ordinated efforts to ensure equipment was moved to safety as the floodwaters rose.

CDU’s Katherine Campus Administrator, Vicki Williams, congratulated staff and students who have pulled together to help the town get back on its feet.

“The contribution of the CDU staff and students reflects the Katherine community spirit, where everyone pitches in and helps everyone else in times of crisis,” she said. 

“There’s no-where else I’d rather be.”

Classes are being offered as scheduled at CDU’s Katherine Campus and Town Centre, however staff are mindful that students are recovering from their own stressful experiences and will accommodate and support their needs so that they can continue working towards their academic goals.