Five Australians have been left stunned after they were invited to chat with Prince William on a video call about their experiences in recent floods.
The Prince of Wales hosted the call on Friday, describing the chat about flooding across the country as “heartening but heartbreaking”.
A handful of people were selected for the call to represent different groups from the front lines of the floods, including Nindilingarri Health Service chief executive Maureen Carter, Grace Langlands from the NSW SES, Shepparton small business owners Daniel Cleave and Curtis Arthur, and South Australian pub owner Brad Flowers.
Prince William spoke to small business owners Daniel Cleave and Curtis Arthur from Shepparton (centre top), Nindilingarri Health Service chief executive Maureen Carter (right), SA pub owner Brad Flowers (bottom left) and NSW SES volunteer Grace Langlands (centre bottom). Picture: Supplied
Prince William urged the group to keep an eye out for anyone affected by the floods who may be “suffering in silence”.
“You’ve got people like you guys looking out for each other and supporting each other, that’s what really matters. You’re getting everyone through it,” he said.
“Please make sure you’re looking after yourselves and those in your communities who need it, because some people will be suffering in silence and I just want to make sure you’re looking out for yourselves as well as each other.”
Ms Langlands told the Prince responding to the floods had been like “walking into a war zone”.
Flooding has persisted since early 2022 into this year in parts of NSW, including the Menindee area with aerial footage showing the scale of the disaster. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Samara Harris
“Just the amount of force, and cars on top of cars, and just never actually realising the power behind water and the damage it can create,” she said.
Eastern Australia was besieged by several severe flood events in 2022, with southeast Queensland and Northern NSW battered between February and April.
Towns in Central West NSW such as Parkes have been impacted by flooding for almost the entire year due to persistent bouts of heavy rainfall.
Flood water on the Fitzroy River in northern WA, where towns including Broome and Derby were entirely cut off due to rising water levels. Picture: DFES WA
Flooding along the Murray River caused the inundation of properties in Victoria and the SA Riverland in November and December, where the impact is still being felt.
However, Western Australia’s Kimberley Region may have suffered the worst of it in record floods during January, which have left towns cut off and remote communities still stranded.
Prince William’s chat with flood victims comes as the federal government is holding early talks with the Prince and Princess of Wales about a potential royal visit.
Experts predict a tour may happen some time after King Charles’ coronation in May.
William and Kate were set to visit Australia in 2020 before their plans were scuppered by the pandemic.