Karen Brook was overwhelmed by the spectacle she witnessed in Queensland’s Channel Country during flooding there in February and March. “I am 22 years old and have never seen anything so amazing,” she says. Growing up around Birdsville, in the state’s stark south-west corner where her family owns cattle stations, Karen was clearly
moved by the transformation of the landscape after the rain and flooding.
“It’s almost a shock to the system,” she says. “After experiencing the drought and the pressures it brings to families and businesses, it is overwhelming to see the
landscape at the opposite extreme: green grass and water!”
Falls in excess of 300 millimetres in some parts of north-west Queensland
caused major flooding of the Diamantina and Georgina rivers, which isolated
Birdsville for weeks.
The subsequent greening of the country is a major boon for the region’s
cattle producers, including Karen’s father, organic cattle producer David
Karen, who moved to Mooloolaba, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, in 2005 to
study graphic and web design, felt compelled to head west when water levels
started to rise. Apart from capturing the floods for R,M.Williams OUTBACK,
Karen felt it was important to document the changes that water brings to the
landscape and the people, for her family and for the community.
“I think you can forget what it looks like after so many years without it,”
she says. “It definitely brings a tear to the eye – it’s pure relief.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #53

Outback Magazine: June/July 2007