Strathewen Community

Black Saturday Commemoration February 2019

Remember, Reflect, Recognise

Community Update 1 March 2018

The 10th Anniversary of the 2009 bushfires is a very significant ‘landmark’ for all of us as individuals, families, and a community.  It is not only a time to remember what happened, but to also reflect on how our community has evolved since the fires.  We also need to recognise the contribution of people and groups who supported us after the fires and the contribution of those who have arrived since the fires.

A small working group has been established to plan the commemoration of the Black Saturday bushfires in Strathewen, to be held in 2019.

 9th Anniversary

We met once again on the 7th February, to remember our losses, reflect on the progress of our community, and catch up with old and new friends.  Our thanks go to the Strathewen Wellness and Activities Group for organising this event.

Community Survey

The Working Group would like to thank those who were able to find the time to complete and return the our survey on their needs and aspirations for the 10 year commemoration of Black Saturday.  The responses to the survey have been very useful in guiding the planning of the commemoration.

If you would still like to contribute your thoughts you can still participate in the survey.  Follow this link to the survey.

Please pass this on to anyone you know who would like to be involved but are not currently on the contact list.

This will not be the only opportunity to be involved, as we will provide regular updates and invitations for people to contribute.

Commemoration Events – February 2019

From the feedback, and our understanding of the significance of the 10th anniversary, there are many aspects that need to be achieved through the commemoration process.  In order to encompass all these needs we are anticipate having two events to achieve what is needed in an inclusive, respectful and sensitive way.

            Thursday 7th February

  • an evening ceremony similar to our previous remembrance events, at the Community Bushfire Memorial, followed by supper and catch up at the Peter Avola Pavilion
  • for all Strathewen residents (old and new) and for all other people who feel a connection with Strathewen

            Sunday 10th February

  • an afternoon event including
    • displays, music, poetry
    • a formal remembrance, reflection and recognition service
    • visits to the Memorial and Blacksmiths Tree
  • for all Strathewen residents (old and new), along with external people and groups who supported our recovery

Commemoration Book

The Working Group anticipates producing a commemoration book as a gift to all Strathewen residents and all those who supported our community during and after Black Saturday.

The book will include images, poetry and text, remembering our losses, reflecting on our community spirit and resilience, and recognising all those groups and people who made a significant contribution to the recovery of our community.

Refurbishment of the Memorials Precinct

The Working Group will work with The Blacksmiths Association and Nillumbik Shire Council to refurbish the memorials area with replanting, paths and landscape works.  Consideration is being given to the establishment of a Friends Group to continue the care and maintenance of the Memorial and Blacksmiths Tree.

Staying In Touch

NoT all community members are currently on the contact list for Strathewen Connect.  If you know someone who would like to stay in touch, but not currently on the list, we would like you to encourage them to contact Strathewen Connect via website or Facebook and register on the contact list.

if you have any thoughts or questions you would like to share with the Working Group, please feel free to contact members of the Working Group directly or through Strathewen Connect connect@strathewen.com.au.

Thank you, Steve Pascoe, Barbara Joyce, Mary Avola, Dini Shepherd, Kathy Brown, Paul Evans.

Click here to be re-directed to Survey Monkey to take the online survey.

Surveys are also available in printed format if you would prefer.

Download a PDF version of this survey.

Download a WORD version of this survey.