Right now, Lismore and the surrounding region are recovering from extreme flooding for the second time.

Again, people have been left cleaning the mud from remaining possessions, shell-shocked but working together as a tight-knit community.

These photos were taken by local photographer Carly Sare after the first round of floods had subsided.

"Make no mistake. The climate crisis is here," Carly says.

"It's hard to convey the magnitude of utter devastation. Entire houses washed away. Upturned cars in river beds. Mattresses in tall trees marking flood lines.

"The individuals in these photos have consented to have their photo taken to raise awareness about their communities' experience, the impact of climate change, and to ask for impactful and immediate action from our leaders and communities."


Virginia was helping her friend Mara clean up after the first flood. Mara lost almost everything, there wasn't much to salvage.

It's heartbreaking to witness the damage done to people’s homes and lives. And the impact these floods have had on animals and the landscape.


Boys help pile debris outside their Dad's car business in Terania St, North Lismore.

There have been waves of kindness, courage and resilience. People coming together, organising in their communities to deliver food and support to people who need it, and tending to displaced wildlife. 


Addie salvaged what furniture she could once the first round of floodwaters retreated.

The evidence is clear, from the science and first-hand experiences of communities around the country: climate damage is here now, making extreme weather events like floods more frequent, more extreme and more unpredictable.

Australians are already paying a high price. Delaying climate action more puts us all at risk.

A responsible government would be stepping up to help communities when they need it. And taking serious action to prevent further climate damage —ramping up climate solutions like clean energy, protecting nature, and cutting pollution by more than half this decade.


Laura stands outside her mother Maree's house in King St, South Lismore. The entire house was pushed to the back of the block in the first flood — the caravan wedged in the wreckage came from somewhere else. She doesn't know where.

People across Australia are calling for real action to cut pollution and keep the people and places we love safe from climate damage.

"Once again, government leadership, absent. Many have lost everything. Their material history, emotional and memory archives, erased. Converted into the rubble that lines either side of the streets," says Carly.


Cheryl and David moved into King St, South Lismore in 2018, thinking it would be protected from floods. Their house is probably condemned, but either way they won't be moving back here.


Many people were still relying on drop-offs and emergency pop-up stands with food and essentials. And will once again in the coming days.

Disasters bring us together. This tragedy must strengthen our resolve to come together, demand climate action and look after each other and our planet.

Adding your voice to Together We Can is one way you can join with thousands of people from across Australia raising our voice for climate action this decade.

Photos: Carly Sare. Words: Marian Reid/ACF

Marian Reid

Senior Content Producer at Australian Conservation Foundation