Brisbane: An Israeli’s Tale

January 16, 2011 by Henry Benjamin
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Efrat  Sudai delayed a trip home to Tel Aviv  until Passover…and saved her Brisbane home.


Efrat Sudai - still cleaning


The 31-yr-old acupuncturist prepared for the floods and moved her fridge and washing machine to her neighbours’ unit above her ground  floor duplex.

But her partner Andy’s father drove 40 minutes from his home with a load of empty boxes and told the couple to pack everything, including their dog, Bob, and leave the unit.

Efrat was planning to take Andy to Tel Aviv to meet her parents this month but decided to delay the trip until Passover.

She told J-Wire: “Coming from such a dry country as Israel, who could have believed these flood could have done the damage they did. We thought we would safe as our unit is about 200m from the river. But the street in which we live also houses stormwater drains so when the the floods hit our home was badly affected. We went the first time and could actually get into the house where water had reached the property. We returned three hours later and could not access our home.”

Today, Sudai has been joined by a team of volunteers attempting to clean out her home.

She described the scene to J-Wire: “The water reached a height of about a meter. The walls, floors and doors are very badly dameaged and will need replacing. We got huge help from our neighbours and friends with more than fifteen people helping to clean up the mess. The mud has a terrible smell and is full of worms. My bathroom has got white tiles but there is not one to be seen. They are covered in brown silt. Volunteers brought commercial hoses and spent more eight hours cleaning out the place on Friday. But now we have to await to see what needs to be repaired .”

Sudai fell in love with Australia when she went travelling at the age of 18 after completing school in Tel-Aviv.


Back in Israel two years later, life in Australia lured her back Down Under from her home in the Tel Aviv suburb of Hadar Yosef….and from her parents Ilana and Shaul and young brother Ofer.

Although little Israel in the beach side suburb of Bondi in Sydney had been her number one choice, Sudai happily settled for Brisbane where she had the opportunity to study acapunture, a profession she has now been practising for six years.

She told the JP: “We are a very close family and we talked twice a day during the floods so they were kept well informed.”

Today, Sudai is living with Israeli friends in Brisbane. It may be several months before she and Andy and Bob the Dog can move back into their home, which remains without power.

She added: “It’s not easy living out of a suitcase and we cannot afford to rent another place. So it looks like we will have to squat with various friends. But if necessary, we may have to get a  mattress into the house so that we have somewhere to sleep.”

Sudai has not been in Israel since Rosh Hashana, 2009 although her brother visited her last year in Brisbane. She said: “I miss the Israeli culture and the warmth of my family. My parents told me not think for a second about not coming home for Passover…I am looking forward so much to seeing my family and being looked after as only they know how.”

Andy and Efrat are not insured and are depending on the generosity of the community, far and wide, to get their home back to normal.

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