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In an era where storytelling surpasses mere entertainment, documentaries like Washed Away are pivotal in inspiring the depths of human endurance, compassion, and unity in the face of natural disasters.

While Washed Away presents several awe-inspiring stories of individuals performing extraordinary feats amidst chaos, it’s crucial to acknowledge that beyond these highlighted narratives lie countless untold tales of heroism, survival, and community spirit. The Hands and Hearts Project is a testament to these stories; they were heavily involved in creating unique systems and processes for community-led response in Australia’s most costliest disaster. Two years later, they are still tackling a relentless sprint to secure suitable living conditions for the members of the Northern Rivers community.

The Untold Heroism Behind “Washed Away”

Washed Away captures the immediate aftermath of the catastrophic floods and shines a light on the ongoing struggles and the indomitable will of the people affected. Among the devastation, the documentary features heartening stories of surfers Ryan Hipwood and Jarrah Tutton, as surfers being high level watermen proved to be a huge success. There was a call out to the surfing community and they stepped in. Ryan and Jarrah are friends with Mick Fanning, known to most as a three-time World Surf League champion. However, in Woodburn, Coraki, Broadwater, and neighbouring areas, he is affectionately known as Big Brother Mick, who helped the community save each other. Mick has teamed up with Lyndall Murray & Jaime Cooper, and the Hands and Hearts Project whose efforts have been instrumental in the emergency response and recovery phases are still tirelessly working to restore their community. Over this two year campaign they have raised $65,000 cash and $180K materials that 48 houses re built or partially livable and many more to go. They need your support.

Hands and Hearts Project

In the wake of the 2022 floods, the Northern Rivers community are in a dire situation, with many vulnerable members lacking stable homes or secure housing. Responding to this crisis, the Hands and Hearts Project initiated an ambitious mission to make 100 homes liveable. This initiative, born out of necessity, has seen the community come together, pooling resources, skills, and time to rebuild homes and lives. With 48 homes completed and many more to go, the Project underscores the urgent need for support. Volunteers, skilled professionals, and donors continue to rally, driven by a shared mission to uplift the lives of the community’s most vulnerable members. The Hands and Hearts Project story is one of strength, compassion, and the power of community—a narrative that, while partially told through “Washed Away,” requires ongoing attention and assistance.

An Urgent Call to Action

The predicament of the Northern Rivers community and the efforts of the Hands and Hearts Project highlight an urgent call to action. Support is needed more than ever to accelerate the recovery process and ensure that every affected family can return to safe, habitable homes. Donations to the Hands and Hearts Project will aid in physically rebuilding houses and restoring hope and dignity for those still affected by the floods.

To join this noble cause and make a difference in the lives of the Northern Rivers community members, please visit

Every donation, regardless of size, contributes to a more significant community rebuilding and recovery effort.

As “Washed Away” brings to light the remarkable stories of those fighting against the odds, let it also serve as a reminder of the ongoing struggles and the critical need for support. The journey of the Hands and Hearts Project, while challenging, continues to inspire and exemplify the essence of community strength and the unwavering human spirit.

Remember, in times of adversity, the collective action and compassion of individuals like those featured in “Washed Away” and the Hands and Hearts Project pave the way for hope and healing.

hands and hearts project


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