21 May 2021

Community events continue to support bushfire healing in Bega

| Katrina Condie
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Potoroo palace multicultural day

A post-bushfire multicultural day was held at Potoroo Palace. Photo: Bega Valley Shire Council.

A Family Fun Day held at Potoroo Palace is just one of 23 post-bushfire recovery and resilience activities events held throughout the Bega Valley Shire as part of council’s $54,000 Community Recovery Contribution Program.

Hosted by the Bega Multicultural Centre, the family day provided guests with a sense of belonging and inclusion and gave the children a chance to make new friends.

Council’s Director of Community, Environment and Planning, Dr Alice Howe said community organisations were provided with up to $2500 to go towards recovery activities for communities affected by the Black Summer bushfires.

“Activities held have been able to create a positive impact for local communities and in some cases, the local environment,” Dr Howe said.

A cinema night featuring the Australian film classic, The Castle and the Towamba Hope Music Festival were held in January.

More than 150 people attended the festival which offered a variety of music, woodchopping, chainsaw, slab-making and log chop demonstrations, dance workshops and a jumping castle.

The Murrah Hall Preservation Association held a free family-friendly music and food event in February which attracted more than 230 people.

Local band Scaramouche and Northern Beaches band Thunderfox entertained the masses, while volunteers handed out beautifully prepared and presented barbecue-based meals, snacks and drinks.

The GoFenceMe dinner for farmers, their partners and families at the Bemboka Showgrounds in March was well attended despite the rain.

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Dr Howe said many had endured financial hardship and emotional strain over the previous year and had not had the opportunity to catch up with one another or share a meal.

The dinner also provided the opportunity for GoFenceMe to report on the work of the charity, which raised $225,000 to purchase fencing materials for farmers.

“So many of our communities came up with impressive recovery and resilience activities that really met their community’s needs,” Dr Howe said.

“We are particularly pleased we could fund these important activities and events to support the post-bushfire healing process across the shire.”

Imagine Eden Group’s Big Blue Easter weekend boasted market stalls, a live band, car boot sale, Easter activities for children, craft and woodturning demonstrations, raffles and prizes.

It got locals and visitors out and about, reconnecting them with the community and enhancing their wellbeing. First aid, resilience and mental health training was organised for event volunteers.

Jirribitti Dreaming held a three-hour Healing with Country workshop that shared Aboriginal culturally-based ways of calming anxiety and building resilience.

All participants learnt cultural ways of calming the nervous system by connecting with country in a meaningful way and non-Aboriginal participants were able to better connect with and understand Aboriginal culture and ways of healing.

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