Monday, December 21, 2009
The community funded chemical, wetting agent and dye for the operation, as well as food and drinks for the celebration afterwards(this is Flowerdale). Teams were built up in Old Spring Valley Rd, Spring Valley Rd, Moores Rd, Collins Rd, Broome Rd and Creekside Drive. The Spring Valley Rd team worked on Saturday the 5th, as they had family gatherings on Sunday, but all the other teams worked on Sunday.
Over 40 people appear in the photo taken in the Moore's Rd Reserve after the Bash, but Saturday's crew and the two blokes who came all the way from Research to help were not there to be recorded for the Blog. In all, over 50 people were associated with this successful operation. Some 3500 litres of chemical were made up and sprayed on the day, and another 1000 litres worth of chemical were distributed for follow-up works. This is a phenomenal result.
There is a strong interest in making the Bash an annual event, including more members of the community and expanding the range of works. We can look forward to getting over 100 people to the second Bash, in 2010.
An important element in the weed suppression activities for Flowerdale is the connection with Strath Creek Landcare, DPI and CMA; all are keen to work with the Flowerdale community to achieve the best possible results.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The fires on Black Saturday caused massive destruction in the Flowerdale community but it also burned out most of the weeds and blackberry bushes that had created problems in the natural waterways and natural environment for many years. The photo of the king Parrot Creek above couldn't have been taken before Black Saturday and we are determined to ensure the creek is accessible and healthy.
Peter Auty got the community together and they decided to have the first blackberry Bash. Effectively the fires have created an opportunity to fully eradicate the noxious weeds with a concerted effort. The blackberry bash is being held today on the 6th December with many community members coming together working with sprayers and tools to get on top of the problem.
The Blackbery Bash held today is the start of a three year program to get things under control. It is great to see people across the community working together and it continues the spirit of collaboration, togetherness and tackling problems off our own bat that has emerged and continued to get stronger since the fires.
It also reinforces the importance of the natural environment to the community which is a key part of the overall recovery of Flowerdale.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
The trees have leaves gowing up the trunks, which is technically called 'epicormic" growth, which is how trees recover. It is not the same as it was but things are coming back and will recover. The process ill take time but it does have its own beauty.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The question i am most often asked by people in the city is "How is the rebuilding going?". On the weekend i drove around and took some photos of the rebuilding in Flowerdale.
There are over 30 houses on the go that I counted and they are at various stages from a builders sign on the block, signalling a project ready to start, stumps in the ground, partially built houses and those that are pretty well complete. There are also dozens of sheds that people are using for temporary accommodation while they rebuild. I also know there are many other people getting ready to start which is great news.
if you need help or advice go to the Integrated Planning Office and catch up with Marcus Worrall, the office also has computers with web access if you need to look up things on the web and there is also the website www.builditback.org that is a fairly comprehensive guide to all things about rebuilding after a bushfire.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Please share the poem around as we hope it helps surface the issues that many people in the Bushfire Affected areas are facing.
This is the third poem of the series, the other two No More a poem written shortly after the fires and read out and the national memorial service, and Johnny and the Weasels written about the frustrations of the recovery process.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The dance was organised by Maria Handley who owns Basics, a Whittlesea beauty and sports injury clinic. When she heard that the brigade needed a new Ultra Light Tanker she swung into action. “When I heard they are struggling to raise the money I decided to help,” she says.
“We just want to raise some money to help purchase an Ultra Light Fire Truck and are delighted by the people who have offered to assist us,” says brigade secretary Trudie Goudge.
The community extends their thanks for the organisaion of a great night that raised $15K for the tanker.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The match on Sunday November 8 at the picturesque Hume & Hovell Cricket Ground at Strath Creek involved workers who have spent some months in Flowerdale clearing roadsides after the bushfires in a social cricket match against locals.
The game was a relaxed one with the “Fluoros” – named for the shirts they wear – going down to the local side 88 to 105.
Unofficial awards went to Fluoro Matty who took the catch of the day – a one hander with a beer in the other; FlowerdaleTim for two juggling catches and Flowerdale’s Yak for the highest score of the day with 23.
The day included an auction of some impressive items such as a cricket bat signed by the Australian team, raffles, Luke’s animal nursery, reptiles and other animals from The Haven Wildlife shelter, and a stilt walker.
Proceeds of the day will be shared between the Flowerdale Kindergarten, Flowerdale Tennis Club, Flowerdale Cricket Club, Flowerdale Tool Shed and Flowerdale and Strath Creek CFA brigades.
Flowerdale Kindergarten spokeswoman Chrissy Grant said the day was enjoyed by all, with great support and rapport between the community and the workers who had assisted the Flowerdale community over the past few months and their friends and families.
“I can’t stress enough how much we appreciate their assistance and the support they’ve given us,” Chrissy said.
Flowerdale cricketers team spokesman, Chris Emmins, thanked the organisers, Flowerdale Hotel publican Steve Phelan and Chris Hooben for the day.
“It was a great day and we all enjoyed and appreciate the huge support the roadies and their friends and families have given us,” Chris said.
Flowerdale Tennis Club president Jeannette Kamar thanked the organisers and the sponsors.
“They’ve been very generous and supportive of the Flowerdale community and this was really appreciated by all who attended.
Bunnings Thomastown store organised a team to provide a barbecue for the crowd which was estimated at 250. Local Glen Spalding donated the super barbecue for the day.
Kookaburra provided cricket gloves for the children and provided fluoro cricket balls for the day.
Other generous sponsors were Roadside Care & Maintenance, Anglopac Construction Group, A& L Traffic, Arborco, Bartletts Work Management, Flowerdale Hotel, Australian Hotels Association, HostPlus, Sunbury Bus Lines, Coates Hire, LKR Constructions, Nu Trans Transport, S & B Automotive, Auslec & Ross Fawkner.
The FRC was picked up by a bus at 10.00am and did the milk run to Glenburn, Toolangi, Kinglake and Kinglake West.
The Governor opened proceedings thanking the Committee Members for their work and then John Brumby, Bill Shorten and Christine Nixon said a few words. The theme of all the speeches was that the government wanted to ensure communities had input into the recovery and the process should be community led. I think it is fair to say it was a bit slow to start but the process has been very community focused.
Christine Nixon's speech really showed how much she had got across to all the communities and it was obvious with the number of people she knew from across the 78 affected communities that she has been out at the coalface.
We spoke to many of the other communities and it was a very valuable exercise.
The biggest surprise of the day was to see all of the FRC dressed up especially Peter Auty in a suit.
We also got to have a great chat with Bill Shorten who has been a real supporter of Flowerdale and the whole recovery process. Bill suggested that Burgo and Peter Auty could feature in a "Men of the Bushfire" calendar but thankfully the rest of the FRC put a stop to those thoughts.
A big thank you to the Governor and the VBRRA staff who organised the event.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Circus Oz spent a week in the Community staying at the Rec Reserve and running workshops with the school and kinder as well as up the hub. The excitment before the show was fantastic with all the kids geared up to perform.
The show was fantastic with acrobatics, juggling, music, comedy and theatrics. The feedback after the show was that not only were the Circus acts great but the threatrics of the performers took it to the next level of entertainment. The performances of the locals all went really well and everyone was surprised at how quickly everyone had learn't new skills.
A big thanks to Circus Oz for coming to town and for the supporters who made it all happen.
At the end of the day Flowerdale won scoring 105 to the Flouros 88. The game was played in great spirit and a great day was had by all.
The day finished off with a match race between two of Flowerdale's finest athletes from days gone by, Crash and Ash. The race across the ground was 150 metres and Crash prevailed despite slowing down over the last 50 metres.
Anyone with photos of the day send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, November 7, 2009
On Thursday, V8 Supercar driver Alex Davison and the Irwin Industrial Tools came to town to mix with locals at the Flowerdale Hotel. In addition Irwin Industrial Tools also donated $5000 of tools for the Tools Library at the hub.
Davison is an avid trail bike rider and had often ridden around the Flowerdale area, stopping off at the pub for a Parma at lunchtime.
"The visit is a simple way to say to the people of Flowerdale that we are still thinking of them some eight months after the Black Saturday disaster. It is always fantastic to see people who support our sport, but I got the strong indication that we might have grown our fan base thanks to the IRWIN Racing team’s visit to Flowerdale. I do know this area very well and have always enjoyed one of the Flowerdale Hotel’s famous parmigianas when I dropped-in for lunch during our trail bike rides. So for me it does have a special significance to make a visit with the IRWIN Racing car. I’m pleased to announce a $5000 donation of products from IRWIN Industrial Tools. IRWIN has an extensive range which I have no doubt will be of great assistance in the continued re-building process. I’d like to call on more businesses to support this great scheme here in Flowerdale. Also we have donated some ex-race panels which I’m sure will prove popular in ongoing fundraising auctions and the like. Plus one for the pub wall which looks great! The big message is for people to continue to support not only Flowerdale but all the communities that were affected in the bushfires. Donations or simply coming to these regions and energising business is going to go a long way to getting things back to where they were."
A big thanks to Alex and Irwin Industrial Tools for their time and donation, it is very much appreciated.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
The work engine is looking for individuals to let them know what communications problems you experience. This includes things like mobile phone, radio, TV and internet access.
VBRRA has commissioned a report by a Communications expert which should come through soon but we would like some more granular information direct from residents to provide input into the solution.
You can either leave comments on the blog or email email@example.com at firstname.lastname@example.org we would like to know where you are located and any specific issues you face.
The Groundswell awards focus on how organisations or Communities are using things like blogs, wikis, YouTube, Flickr, Scribd, Twitter etc to make a difference.
They covered how this blog has been a key tool for dissemination of news and information, raising funds and goods from donors and philanthropists, the use of the wiki in coordinating the building of the village and the www.builditback.org website.
Flowerdale waa represented by a Deloitte colleague of mine in Chicago, Valli Perera. Valli said firstly he was honoured to represent Flowerdale and that the award to Flowerdale received the most applause on the night.
A lot of people have contributed to the award through the contribution of photos, stories, videos and pulling the information together to be published. A special mention should also go to Julie Bateman of the FRC who has worked tirelessly on the communications front.
To see the background to the award see it at the Groundswell awards site.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
To get your tickets, families with kids at the Kindergarten and the School can get them through the Kinder or School. There are also tickets at the hub available to residents via Leanne Pleash the Hub Captain, basically those people in the 3658 or 3717 postcodes are eligible for the tickets. You can call Leanne on 57801264.
It is a great show for all ages, to see more check out www.circusoz.com.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
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 came around 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.
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.
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
Wayne and Laine MacDonald
Alex and Tanya Jones
Jaime Helmot and Ric Stubbings
John and Ted Burgess
Odette and family
& everyone else who we may have forgotten
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I have started a group on Flickr which allows you to post your photos or videos to the group. You need a Flickr account and you can sign up at www.flickr.com, its free and I find it a good place to store and share photos. The address for the group is www.flickr.com/groups/hoofoverhills/ and it has the ones I took.
There were so many photos and videos taken it would be great to check them all out after such a great weekend.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The night kicked off with the Flowerdale Primary School singing group and some very humourous poetry recitals. Ruckus provided the music that got everybody rocking. Peter Auty was in top form with his recitals of "The Man from Snowy River" and McDougal
There were some big bonfires to keep us all warm and the spit roast went down a treat.
See more of the entertainment in the videos below.
Hoof over Hills started with the 9.00am departure from Kinlochiel, the proprerty of Alan and Debbie Schultz, which had been transformed into a huge camping ground with riders and horses setting up camp for the weekend.
There were 270 riders who rode through the blackened forests and across the hills. The recent wet weather also meant that many of the waterways and small creeks that dont often run in October were running. The fires had also downed many trees so their were plenty of obstacles.
The first stop for morning tea was in the heart of the forest were riders enjoyed a cup of tea or coffee or for those looking for something stronger, a drink from the mobile Bundy Van.
The riders headed off for the second stint at about 11.30 coming in for lunch at 1.00pm at the top of on of Flowerdale's many hills giving a great view across the valley.
The last stint was the longest with riders coming back to camp about 4.00pm. Everyone got back safe and sound thanks to the organisation and the official Trail Boss and team of lead riders. There were also paramedics and ambulance staff on the ride in case anything went wrong.
Friday, October 16, 2009
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
- A Fire Safety Plan and Program
- Strategic Land Use Planning across Flowerdale and Kinglake Ranges $0.5m (described as "Development of Detailed planning and design strategies..... with close community consultation)
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 a Flowerdale Fact Sheet
together with an Interactive Map with details of all Communities.
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" project. The relationship with VBRRA does reflect the title of the plan "Rebuilding Together"
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
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.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
See the flyer below for contact details. Comprehensive information on all things related to rebuilding in the one place can also be found at www.builditback.org
Sustainibilty Victoria Assistance
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Circus Oz will be holding workshops at the tent at the Flowerdale Recreational Reserve for the school children of Flowerdale Primary School and kindergarten on Wednesday 4 November from 11:00-12:30 and 13:30-15:00 and Thursday 5 November 11:00-12:30- (kinder kids) and 13:30-15:00. Community members and parents will also be invited to participate in the workshops with details currently be finalised. The local bus service, Crown has kindly volunteered to transport the kids to and from the tent during the day.
The Circus Oz show, “Barely Contained” will be presented to the Flowerdale community on Saturday 7 November from 2-4pm. An act from the workshops including the children and community members will be incorporated into the show. See the promo video below:
Also check out the website @ www.circusoz.com
A community BBQ and bands (tbc) will take place after the show and will finish at about 5.30pm.
To ensure that we don’t have disappointed people we will be issuing up to 500 tickets (free) to families through the schools and community members (tent’s capacity).
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Much of the work putting together the application was done by Geraldine Gentle and Ken Mival together with assistance from Vicurban. The application was successful and the Federal Government will provide funds of $1.67 million for the Community House and employment of the building advisers.
The background to the application was that the building should fit in with the aesthetics of the Flowerdale Valley as well as adopt sustainable building and design principles. Landscaping and a playground has also been included.
The only available land suitable was at Jarara and this location also made sense as there is the need for some Community Facilities at the Southern end of the Valley where most of the population reside.
The Community House Committee and Flowerdale Recovery Committee are working with DEWR, VBRRA and Murrindindi Shire in finalising the contract and paperwork which will then allow the project to get rolling.
The application envisaged community involvement in areas such as landscaping, painting and setting up recreation facilities. This will provide the community with an opportunity to get directly involved in the rebuilding process. We have seen what the community can achieve working together at the School Gardens, the Village and some of the recent "Amish" style shed building that has been going on.
To put this project in perspective it will be the biggest expenditure on a community project in Flowerdale's history.
After taking into account a range of considerations including:
- The Future Flowerdale Forum input
- DEECD policy relating to integration of early learning with schools
- Safety and Accessibility
A work group has been formed and will meet this week to discuss initial placement and design criteria for the new Kinder building. The Kinder project will be led by VBRRA's Flowerdale Project Control Group which has been established to support Flowerdale's recovery.
We will keep people updated via the blog and community newsletter as more information comes to hand. It is good to see movement on this project as it has been identified as one of the priority projects in the recovery process.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
The Before Story, Night of Fire, The Aftermath & The Recovery.
Stories are done by Lyn Gunter, John De Maria, Peter Bryne & John Burgess.
Well worth to look at very informative and explains how it was, how we have come so far and the ongoing recovery.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Patchwork Quilters around Around, New Zealand & USA have been making quilts as gifts for people affected by the recent fires.
If fire-affected people would like a quilt please give your name & contact details to Anne at Patchwork Connections in Healesville. ph 5962 4256
Delivery of quilts can be arranged, by contacting Glenys 0414 363 928
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
It is a real inspiration to see the community banding together and making the gardens better than they were before. Many of the people in the video below lost all they had yet still worked tirelessly to get the gardens back.
Flowerdale Primary School has entered the School Garden Awardss and we wish all involved the best of luck in the awards.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
"Johnny and the Weasels" expresses the frustration felt in the Community by the slow process of recovery.