Adelaide forward Shane McAdam has thrown his support behind flood victims after remnants of tropical cyclone Ellie brought days of torrential rain to the central Kimberley in northern Western Australia.
The once-in-a-century flood, which started late last month, led to the Fitzroy River peaking at a record height of 15.1 metres at Fitzroy Crossing, where McAdam’s family and friends live.
It left destruction in its wake, damaging hundreds of homes, roads and infrastructure, while isolating many riverside communities.
McAdam hails from Halls Creek, one of the smallest towns in the heart of the Kimberley, and visited friends and family at Fitzroy Crossing during the Crows’ Christmas break.
Speaking to AFC Media, McAdam said his family and friends had been caught up in some of the worst-hit areas and he wanted them to know they were in his thoughts.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of family members back home who are actually stuck in Fitzroy Crossing and in Broome and Derby, all around the Kimberley,” McAdam said.
“Most of them have lost a lot of things - they’ve lost homes and the town had to get shut down. A lot of people had to get evacuated from the town.
“I just want (them) to know (they’re) in my thoughts and everyone here at the Adelaide Football Club sends their best wishes.
“I know you’re a strong community and that you'll come together and get through this.”
McAdam, who finished last season with 23 goals from 15 games, said many areas he had visited over the break were now unrecognisable because of the floods.
“I’ve received a lot of photos and videos from family members, even talking on the phone to them, they’re telling me stories,” McAdam said.
“Looking at the photos and videos now, you just can’t recognise some of the spots I’ve just been to a couple of months before.
(The floods) happened just after Christmas, too, which is a sad time because it’s meant to be joyful and you get a lot of gifts, especially for the younger kids.
“Now they’ve lost everything from the rains and the floods, it’s very bad and very sad.”
McAdam, who will enter his fifth season with the Crows when the 2023 AFL campaign gets underway, says he enjoys returning home to connect with the land and his people whenever he gets a chance.
“I was just home recently, just after the season I went up to Fitzroy Crossing and I love going back there,” McAdam, 27, said.
“I got to go back home for Christmas, and it was good to see all the family.”