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12 March 2011

Stories of courage and hope from Goodna's flood victims

THE TRAN family in Goodna is sleeping in a tent pitched inside their house but they haven't forgotten all the help received from volunteers.

Goodna residents Chin Tran (right) and Nam Vo with their daughter Men Tran in their house.

THE TRAN family in Goodna is sleeping in a tent pitched inside their house but they haven't forgotten all the help received from volunteers after their home was completely submerged in the floods.

Out the front of his house, Chin Tran has etched a message on a tree that says: FLOOD VICTIM. THANKS AUSTRALIA. Underneath those words, Mr Tran has nailed an Australian flag to the trunk in another gesture of appreciation.

St Francis Xavier School student Men Tran spoke on behalf of her family about their ordeal.

While the house was made liveable, the family had to move to Durack, then Forest Lake and then Redbank before returning home.

Mr Tran and his family initially moved into their home two weeks before the floods and he lost all of his mechanical equipment.

"My dad did get insurance but they said it has expired," Men said.

"Dad is trying to rebuild himself. We are hoping that the house will become like the old one.

"My dad thinks it might take one year – or five or three.

"We have a mattress and some pillows and we are sleeping in a tent – but it is really squishy."

Men, who hasn't missed a day of classes despite the family's upheaval, said her dad's message on the tree was heartfelt.

"My dad wanted to say thank you to the people who came to our house and helped," she said.

"We really appreciated it and hope that they might come back and help again.

"The first time we came back here there were 100 people downstairs ... and 300 upstairs and more outside.

"One of my dad's friends said he had the biggest amount of rubbish outside his house."

Material possessions were lost but young Men has a great attitude.

"I lost my laptop, but I got a new one," she said.

"I didn't really care about the toys that I lost, because they are just toys."

She said her main loss was all her cherished books.

Men said the family still managed to keep a smile on their faces.

"We just think about all of the good times we've had," she said.

More Ipswich news: www.QT.com.au

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