The Cyclone As Catalyst

Ute Haring, Reesa Sorin

Abstract


Cyclones are endured, but often dreaded in tropical regions such as Far North Queensland. Memories, and often myth, of their destructive effects permeate written, visual and spoken text from and about this area. This paper presents findings from a qualitative research project which examined the impact of tropical north Queensland’s 2006 Cyclone Larry on children’s wellbeing, as expressed through their drawings and narratives, using Haring’s (2012) Content, Interpretive and Developmental (CID) method for analysis. This research is presented through the three stages of a cyclone: the lead up, landfall and finally the aftermath, or lessons learned. Experiences of children during these three stages, as conveyed in the publication, Cyclone Larry. Tales of survival from the children of North Queensland (Mothers Helping Others [MHO], 2006) are examined and discussed to present a broad perspective about how children express fear, resilience and hope for the future. In this study children are seen as active participants and not victims. Art and narratives give children a voice through which to express feelings, as well as being a tool for healing and encouraging children’s resilience. Findings to date suggest that children’s perspectives supply significant contributions to our understandings of natural disasters such as cyclones.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25120/etropic.15.1.2016.3305

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