Then 26-year-old Newcastle council special projects officer I was at my parents house at Valentine when we felt the jolt. Their house did a strange jerking shuffle. It was very odd.
I was put on the phones in the central communication phone line very soon after the earthquake. At first, we had a lot of phone calls about missing people or urgent requests to enter premises. Then the calls started to be about demolitions and building work. Slowly the calls changed to people who were trying to cope with the trauma and stress of what had happened.
It was such a chaotic time and we couldn’t help with some requests. Newcastle was hurting and I would answer angry call after distressed call. I didn’t think about it at the time but I was pretty young to be coping with the stress.
I was on the phone line for about two and a half months before council set up a special centre for people to come to for all kinds of assistance.
It is great to see Tony Tamplin in the photo. He was a special man and is missed.
I am still in local government but in Maitland now and am a mum of two.