Flowerdale Community Recovery Update Reminders & New Events

October 2009

As this newsletter is only produced once a month (middle of the month) I will try and send in between reminders and new events as they come to hand. We will also be utilising the Flowerdale Flyer produced by the Community House to keep people informed. If you want to receive this please contact Brenda Beckett brendab@internode.on.net. Also for more updates throughout the month see our blog http://helpflowerdalenow.blogspot.com/


Womens Dinner, Wednesday 28th October, 7pm-9pm, Flowerdale Hall. Phone: 57720349 Fire Ready Meeting & Community Dinner Friday 30th October, 6pm Flowerdale Recreation Reserve, Springvalley Road.
31st October Fundraising 7pm Flowerdale Dinner, Brunswick

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Community Dinners, 1st & 3rd Friday of the month, Flowerdale Recreation Reserve, Springvalley Road, 5pm onwards Community Meetings, 2nd & 4th Friday of the month, Flowerdale Recreation Reserve, Springvalley Road, 8pm

The communications work engine are now working on tv, radio, broadband & mobile phone reception in the area. They need to know from all of the residents if you experience blackspots in the area with the above. It is a critical part of safety warnings in the area. Please contact Fiona 0422 75 99 72 to provide information so they can have a geographical indication of what services are required in the area.


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Bush to the Beach is coming back to Lorne in November!
The second women’s retreat for those that missed out on the event in June has been confirmed for 13 - 15 November at the fabulous Mantra Erskine Resort in Lorne. There will be 350 places for women affected by the February 2009 Victorian Bushfires. You will need to get in quick as there has been strong interest in the event. For more information see http://www.wewillrebuild.vic.gov.au/my -community-a-events.html or see Leanne Pleash at the Hub for registration form or phone 57802704. This weekend is run by local women for local women and supported by VBRRA. It will be entertaining, inspirational, educational and FUN. “Bound together, we will never abandon each other. The greater the danger, the closer the union. Together we can work miracles. Remain firm in your belief that tomorrow will be more beautiful…..”

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A Fire Safety Plan and Program Revegetation

Strategic Land Use Planning across Flowerdale and Kinglake Ranges $0.5m (described as "Development of Detailed planning and design strategies..... with close community consultation) It should be noted that these are the first tranche of projects. Work is continuing on Communications and Water/Sewage. We have already raised the issue that we would like transport to be added to the current plan. The FRC is continuing to explore renewable energy. Given it is the night before Hoof Over Hills the FRC will do a detailed comparison of the Government Plan to the Original Recovery plan and report back over the course of next week. See online the Community Recovery Plan http://www.wewillrebuild.vic.gov.au/imag es/stories/4447_VBRRA_Statewide_Plan_ WEB.pdf a Flowerdale Fact Sheet Also on Youtube is a video put together of the lauch . http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=LKsmlXxyQdI & on our blog spot http://helpflowerdalenow.blogspot.com/2 009/10/rebuilding-together-recoveryplan.html Overall it is a good result for Flowerdale and great recognition for the community to have the plan launched in Flowerdale and for the Chairman of the Flowerdale Recovery Committee, John Burgess to be invited to stand up front with Messrs Rudd and Brumby and Christine Nixon. A lot of hard work has gone into the plan, with the community meetings and the compilation of the Recovery Plan by the Recovery Committee. On the government side VBRRA has been doing a lot of work across many areas, a good example is driving the "One Postcode"

Rebuilding Together Recovery Plan launched by Prime Minister in Flowerdale

On Friday 16th October it was a very special day for Flowerdale and all bushfire communities. The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Premier John Brumby launched the Statewide Recovery Plan for the Victorian Bushfire Communities at the Flowerdale Primary School. The plan included • • • • The Community House Grant of $1.7m A new kinder and Maternal/Child Health centre at the School $2.2m A Skate Park, location to be agreed An upgrade of the Community House

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project. The relationship with VBRRA does reflect the title of the plan "Rebuilding Together"

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The IRWIN Racing team at lunchtime on Thursday 5 November late afternoon, Flowerdale Hotel We will have the race transporter and race cars etc along with team members. On the day we will bring some items to donate for auction as well as display at the pub and school. IRWIN will also make a donation to the Tool Library.

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It would be great to get support from the relative Victorian Government agencies to ensure a good media roll-up. We will also provide a TV film crew as well as photographer on the day.

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Junior Landcare will be holding a blackberry bash day 6th December to help eradicate some of our blackberry issues in our area.
The inaugural Flowerdale Blackberry Bash is set for 6th December. Peter Auty has met with Terry Hubbard, President of Strath Creek Landcare, and discussed funding for the project. Both Strath Creek Landcare and Peter (for Flowerdale Junior Landcare) have sent off Expressions of Interest for funding for spray chemicals. Peter has also met with Christine Glassford (CMA) and Peter Mitchell (DPI Broadford) and discussed the proposed Bash and funding sources. Some new information about funding grants is included in this newsletter. CMA has funding for weed control along waterways, and there may be some employment possibilities in this. DPI has funding for public land and minor roadways. What this means for our Bash is that we can focus on private land and adjacent areas such as the road and creek edges next to properties. The proposal for the Bash looks something like this: • •


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We will concentrate on woody weeds such as blackberry, English broom and ivy. The area to be sprayed is from Coonan’s Bridge in the north to Wallaby Creek in the south, minor roadsides, private property and feeder creeks. As people express interest, a Work Engine will be established to coordinate activities. The Work Engine will set up locations for ‘depots’. These will be tanks of water and supplies of chemical, with one person with a ChemCert card to make sure correct mixes of chemical are used. People who want to be part of the day will bring small sprayers (knapsacks, hand held sprays) to get them filled. We all work towards Moore’s Road Reserve, and when we get there we have a party (this is Flowerdale, after all). People who have been spraying will be asked to locate on a map of the valley where they have been working. This will allow MSC, DPI, CMA and the Flowerdale community to identify what has been done and what still remains.

We need to know who will be involved, so if you are interested, please contact Julie Bateman, 0418589072 or jbateman@y7mail.com with your name, address and what equipment you have. This will allow the Work Engine to better coordinate the day’s activities. Our community is in a pretty unique position here – the woody weeds have been given a real knock down by the fire, and we are in a position to keep them there. Many people have said that they had never seen large parts of the creek, due to weed infestation, and with a little work from a lot of people we can maintain this situation. People who want to be part of the Work Engine are asked to contact Peter Auty, 0422 867 949, peter@ceres.org.au, or C/- P.O. Hazeldene, 3658, and we’ll set up a meeting to get this started.

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and lots more.

The hall itself is an old building that holds alot of community activities and functions such as Youth Groups, Arts and Crafts, Markets, Primary School Activities, Christmas dinners

It was great for our volunteers to be able to chat to some of the local people from the Community House and Hall Committee’s who had come along to assist us with our community day. It gave us all more of an idea of what the Community had to face on the day of the Bushfires and the devastation that it had left behind. Thanks to the following for helping organising and on the day to make it all happen: • Gardner Group - Building Surveyor - Building permit which was required for the Veranda • Webber Design - Structural Engineer Looked over and signed off the Structural Design • Akron Roads - Crushed rock under veranda and pathway • Barden Steeldeck - Roofing material for Veranda • Exar - Timber frame (Also Exars supplier has donated materials. Hazelwood and Hill) • Higgins - Paint • Warrandale - Plants • KLM - Lights and installation • Coates Hire - All terrain Scissor Lift • Meridian - Concrete for footings • Rickie Nuske • Billy Price • Wayne and Laine MacDonald • Alex and Tanya Jones • Jaime Helmot and Ric Stubbings • Bob Hearne • Paula Turner • Alison McDonald • Kristen Hanson • Chris Stutchbury • Gordon Davie • John and Ted Burgess • Annie Robertson • Julie Bateman • Deb • Odette and family • & everyone else who we may have forgotten

The works that were carried out were organised by Bovis Lend Lease, Flowerdale Hall and the Community House which included the demolition of existing Verandas, Construction of new Veranda, Planting of shrubs, Crushed rock path and hardstand under the veranda, Replacing barge boards and Installation of Joinery cupboards. The Planning for the day started back in early August with the Community House Group. We started works at the Flowerdale Hall on Wednesday afternoon with digging and pouring the footings for the veranda. It was an early start on site on Thursday Morning which Kicked off at about 6.45am. For most of our Volunteers it meant that they left home around 5.30 - 6.00am. Morning Tea was provided by the Community House which were some warm party pies and sausage rolls and some fresh homemade muffins. One of the biggest Challenges for the day was the installation of 2 x M20 Tru bolts into the post Stirrups that was to hold up the structure. I think there was an allowance plus some for the wind conditions they we have been experiencing of late. Lorron had been shopping the day before to ensure our fluids were kept up and the hunger pains stayed away. The Lunch time BBQ come round very quickly and it would be fair to say we were travelling a couple of hours behind program. The structure was erected after lunch and the weather had turned a little nasty. The rain didn't slow us down too much. The roof sheets

arrived at 4.30pm and at this point there was talk of firing the BBQ up again as we knew we were going to be installing the sheets through to dinner. As dusk set in the team had completed the laying of the roof sheets and only had a couple of trims to finish. We enjoyed dinner at the hall with some of the locals, before we all departed for the Journey home. Friday morning was a cleanup and the finishing off of a couple of items.

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start of term two when loud squeals of excitement were heard throughout the school as the children ran in for the first time to explored their new kinder space. The kinder staff, parents and friends of the kinder have worked tirelessly to have the kinder up and running. We have been extremely fortunate to have received many donations from all over Australia; some new furniture, toys, play equipment and craft stocks have either been donated or purchased with these donated funds. The children have also received many gifts including hand made quilts, hand knitted beanies and teddy bears, sunglasses and new water bottles. Although is has been a difficult year for everyone, we are constantly amazed and enlightened by the resilience of the children who run up the path each day happy to be arriving at their new kinder. After lengthy consultation it has been agreed that the best place for the kinder is to remain on the school grounds. We look forward to welcoming many new children in 2010 as we continue on our next phase of building our brand new kinder. Flowerdale Kinder is currently taking enrolments for both 3 year old and 4 year old kinder for 2010 and we are looking forward to running more successful and exciting programs for the rest of the year and onwards in 2010.

To say it has been a busy year at the Flowerdale Kinder would be an understatement! Early 2009 had seen the building of a new bike path and new shade structure above the sand pit, plans and preparations for a new garden design. All of this was achieved over the summer break in January, just prior to the February 7th when bushfires destroyed the lot! Not to mention many 3 and 4 year old children from Flowerdale started the year very excited to be either returning to kinder or attending for the first time on the 3rd of February just days before the kinder burnt down. Determined not to fall into dismay and more importantly to keep the smiles on the children’s faces; kinder staff, Raylene Eason and Chrissie Grant took on a “nothing-can-stand-in-our-way” approach and set up a play space for all aged children in a large army tent on the oval at Spring Valley Recreation Reserve. This was also a chance for all the mums and dads to gather and talk through their experiences; a very important process. It was not long before the group migrated from the tent to the club rooms at the Recreation Reserve. Along the way we had daily visits from the “Save the Children” play bus and other special visitors such as singer Barry Williams who had children smiling and singing as they reunited with their play mates. Towards the end of term one there was yet another move. We were fortunate enough to be offered a space at the Flowerdale Primary School library. With the welfare of our vulnerable children and parents in mind we soldiered on through the term in the very cozy library with a ‘play-focused’ group run by Raylene and Chrissie. Parents were still required to stay for the duration of the sessions so strong friendships were forged and caffeine levels (of the parents) increased dramatically. The children who attended were just happy to have some stability in their days which had to date been turned upside down. With help from the Flowerdale Primary School and the Department of Early Childhood and Education a portable kinder was delivered to the primary school grounds. It was finally ready for occupancy at the

Flowerdale Kinder are currently running a Recovery Raffle in an effort to raise funds for the ongoing needs of the kinder. Prizes include: 1. One nights accommodation at Balgownie Estate – Yarra Valley 2. A Akira Bright massage package at Piaf in Healseville 3. A 45 minute massage at Indulge Retreat – Yarra Valley 4. A chocolate and wine hamper Raffle tickets are available for purchase at Hazeldene general store, Flowerdale Hotel, Flying tarts, Pheasant Creek Fitness or you can contact Flowerdale kinder on 57802020 to purchase tickets/books. Please support us by buying a ticket or 3.

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We are currently taking enrolments for both 3 and 4 year old kinder for what intends to be a very special year at Flowerdale Kinder. For Enrolments Raylene or Chrissie contact 57802020

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HUB 57802704

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“There will be places for both men and women in this program, with the retreats to be held over three days in October and November.” The package provides specific support for men with the Men Building Bridges program, which offers grants to shared community facilities such as Men’s Sheds. Grants of up to $20,000 will be available for working bees where men can work on projects such as repairing community buildings or constructing community playgrounds. Grants of up to $5,000 will be available for workshops for rebuilding in fire prone areas. The working bees and workshops will be used as a conduit for encouraging men to talk about their experiences and share ways of coping. Women from bushfire-affected communities will be able to come together for friendship, fun and support as part of the Women Gathering after the Fires project, which will provide leadership training to help women cope with ongoing stress. Ms Neville said the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund package built on ongoing counselling and support services the Government had mobilised in the immediate aftermath of the February fires. “A key priority for our Government has been providing primary health care services to the people most affected by these tragic fires and support to the professionals providing those services,” Ms Neville said. “In the days after the fires we announced an extra $561,000 for additional counselling and mental health support services in affected areas and to date there has been more than 200 specially trained counsellors working on the ground to support bushfire communities through the challenges of the recovery process. This has been supported by an additional $1.8 million to fund additional specialist mental health services, grief counselling and training. “There are also 363 case managers who have assisted more than 500 households to address issues such as accommodation, finance, employment, education, counselling, health care and legal advice. This is assistance will be ongoing for two years for those who need it.” Case managers are assisting families get back on track through access to a range of services such as financial assistance, accommodation, counselling services including trauma counselling, education for children, access to health services and employment. “Community information sessions have been held in affected areas and community meetings led by a trauma expert held in over 20 communities since the fires. The Appeal Fund’s latest allocation will help further support bushfire affected people when

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they need it most and I thank Mr McNamara and his team for their decision, “Ms Neville said.

Heartless Thieves Clean Out Bushfire Victim
Local resident Troy Burns lost everything in the Black Saturday Bushfires. Troy was a familiar sight at the Rec Reserve in the early days with his dog Red, helping out around the Village. Troy moved back to his block and had been living for some months in a caravan on his block.

"Troy and Red at the village in the early days" On 2nd October Troy was away to attend a family funeral. When he came back the next day the caravan had been ransacked and thieves had stolen what little he had such as chainsaws, pumps, tools, gardening equipment, wood splitters and the like. After the loss he had already suffered this was a massive kick in the guts. When you look at what he had it was the things that enabled him to live on his block or to prepare to rebuild. It is hard to comprehend how people can do this. I think one thing we have sen as a result of the bushfires is that it has brought out the best in people but to a lesser extent there examples like this where it brings out the worst. If you see Troy around give him some support but also be vigilant as many people have valuable items being brought onto their blocks as they rebuild but aren't always in attendance. If you are going to be away let your neighbours know and if possible try to secure any valuables. If you know anything call Yea Police on 57972630.

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