29 January 2020

Comfort and catharsis: Art helps bushfire recovery for Bega Valley youths

| Elka Wood
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Youth art workshops

Youth art workshops are part of Bega’s mobile recovery program. Photo: Supplied.

For those impacted by this year’s bushfire season, recovery could take a long time, but motivated local organisations and the arrival of funding mean programs to help are starting to roll out in fire-affected regions.

On the South Coast, the Bega Valley Regional Gallery (BVRG), in partnership with Regional Arts NSW and Headspace Bega, are hoping to provide comfort and catharsis for young people through art.

“We are running the workshops in conjunction with the bushfire recovery centre mobile outreach service in Cobargo, Eden and Bermagui,” BVRG Director Iain Dawson said of the program that will begin later this week and run into February.

“We hope these workshops will help young people process their experiences by providing a creative outlet and by offering a format where they can perhaps share those experiences or even collaborate with other young people in an artistic way.

“Partnering with Headspace Bega allows us to deliver these workshops in a safe space that allows young people to seek assistance if they need it.”

Art-based projects can help people in times of disaster by allowing people to express their feelings as they capture important moments in their lives. It also provides opportunities for them to connect with each other.

“Creativity helps us make sense of our world, our communities and how things might have changed,” said Mr Dawson.

The workshops are free and all materials will be supplied thanks to funding from Regional Arts NSW.

There is no need to book, just come along when you can.


  • Cobargo Hall, Thursday 30 January, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Eden Log Cabin, 38 – 40 Bass Street, Thursday 6 February, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Bermagui Community Centre, 9 Bunga Street, Friday 7 February, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • The Bega Valley Bushfire Recovery Centre is open Monday to Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday/Sunday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.
  • The Mobile Outreach Recovery Service operates each day between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm at:
    • Quaama Hall – Tuesdays
    • Towamba Hall – Tuesdays
    • Wonboyn RFS Shed – Wednesday
    • Bemboka Hall – Wednesdays
    • Eden Log Cabin – Thursdays and Saturdays
    • Cobargo Hall – Thursdays and Saturdays
    • Bermagui Community Centre – Fridays
    • Wyndham Hall – Fridays

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Great idea but hours are within school hours.

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