Sunday, May 31, 2009

Interview on Radio National and Sustainability Conference

Green Cross Australia arranged for me to attend the National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development on Thursday and Friday. Green Cross are helping the Flowerdale community with the opportunity to rebuild in a safe and sustainable manner.

Green Cross was set up by Mikhail Gorbachev due to concerns of Climate Change causing more extreme weather events such as rising sea levels or a mega fire as was experienced on Black Saturday.

I was asked to present the story of Flowerdale to the conference and Green Cross also arranged an interview on Radio National with Fran Kelly. Click here to listen to the interview.

Village goes wireless

Last weekend the temporary village in Flowerdale was blanketed with wireless coverage. Donal from Nodecity came into the village and set up two Meraki wireless access points to provide a mesh network across the village. In layman's terms we have bounced the signal from the site office across the site to provide high quality internet access to the people living in the village.

The people in the village are very happy that they can now access the information and resources they need.

A huge thank you to Donal and Nodecity who provided their services for free and had the job done within a few days of hearing about the need for the internet access in the village.

For those that have an interest in technology here is a video that was taken at the time I first spoke to Donal about setting up at Flowerdale and how it all works.

NodeCity-At-FutureSummit from Nodecity on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Results of Election

The results of the election were announced at the community meeting last night. The committee members are:

  • Peter Auty
  • Judy Baker
  • Julie Bateman
  • John Burgess
  • Annie Robertson
  • Ric Stubbings

Thanks to all who participated and the orignal Relief Committee for their efforts.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Free Weekend Getaways or Holidays

Community Forum for Parents/Carers & Community Leaders of Children & Young People

Update on Nominees for Committeee

The following is information and details on the nominees for the committee to be elected:

Sally Abbott-Smith
I am the King Parrot Ward Councillor and would provide the best possible outcome for Flowerdale.

Peter Auty
I moved to Flowerdale in January 2001, and live on our family property in Upper King Parrot Creek Road.
I joined Strath Creek Landcare group, initiated the Flowerdale Primary School Junior Landcare group and joined Flowerdale CFA the same year.
I have also been involved with the Spring Valley Recreation Reserve Committee of Management, Moore's Road Reserve, Hoof over Hills, Flowerdale CFA Juniors, and am actively engaged in a number of community groups.
I am committed to the vision of a safe, sustainable community, environmentally, socially and economically.

Julie Bateman
I have lived in the surrounding area all my life and Flowerdale for the past 20 years. In the past I have belonged to the Flowerdale CFA and I was on the fundraising committee.
At present I’m the communications person for the Flowerdale Community Recovery to keep residents and those who are placed elsewhere due to the fires up to date with information, events, activities and resources available.
Throughout my working career I have dealt with government and non government organisations obtaining information and resources needed to complete tasks in a timely and efficient manner. Also I have a wide range of experience in administration, secretarial and Personal Assistant positions.
Being part of the committee would give me an opportunity to work for the community to make Flowerdale an even better place to live and prosper for the future. Also to endeavour to meet all the community’s needs.

Judy Baker
I have involved in several committees over the years in Flowerdale including Captain of CFA for 6 years. Fireguard for 10 years and Fire in Schools.

John Burgess
I have been a Flowerdale resident for the past 17 years since I relocated from Sydney to take up a senior position with TNT. I have been married to Anna for the past 20 years, and we have both played different roles within the community.
I am currently President of the Spring Valley Recreation Reserve Committee of Management (SVRRCM), convenor and chair of the Moore's Road Reserve Committee of Management, and for the past 5 years MC and on the organising committee of the Flowerdale Australian Day event.
For the last 12 weeks I have concentrated on organising and networking to provide Flowerdale its relief Village.
I am focussed on seeing Flowerdale instated as a better community socially, economically, and, if possible, with even stronger community spirit.

Colin Edwards
I have lived in Flowerdale for 7 years after a life in Management.
I have served on ministerial advisory committees and well aware of the way bureaucracies work or should work.
I have a background in education and environmental management. I currently operate a small publishing business and have provided three web master services for community groups such as the Bolly Gum Adventure Park project at Kinglake.
I’d be the first to admit that I came to Flowerdale to slow down but to be involved in the rebuilding of a community after the ravages of Black Saturday is one of those once in a lifetime challenges. I would be more than happy to serve this community in any way that I can make use of my experience and skills. Whether it be on the management committee or any other tasks that will enviably follow.
It would be an honour and a wonderful challenge.

Christine Grant
My name is Chrissy Grant; I have been a resident of Flowerdale for 14 years. I have been married for 14 years and I have 2 girls. I am currently on 2 committees: committee of management for Jarara as the treasurer for the past 5 years, also on the Flowerdale Kinder Committee as treasurer for the past 8 years, I add that I am proud of where I live.
Prior to the fire, I kept most of the up-keep on the Jarara Building (which was where the Kinder was held). My children went to the Kinder and I continue to be treasurer of the kinder as a substantial amount of money is held for the continuance of the kinder should our enrolments drop.
I am an honest trustworthy person who believes in calling a spade a spade, I stand up for what I believe in, and am easy to approach and have many friends in the community.

Jessica Greig
Hi my name is Jessica Greig, I have lived in Flowerdale all my life, and my family have lived here for 24 years. I successfully completed my VCE at Yea High School and I am currently in my 2nd Year of Bachelor of Education – Primary Teaching at RMIT University in Bundoora. I am completing my practical placement at the Kinglake West Primary school where I will be until the end of this year.
I am very passionate about the rebuilding and continuing development of this wonderful Valley which I call home.
If elected on to the Flowerdale Community Recovery Committee I will do my utmost to fulfil any obligations required of me.

Karen Gunter
My name was put forward at the Flowerdale community recovery committee. I appreciate that I was nominated and believe I would be a good member of this committee as I am a part of the Flowerdale Kinder committee and Jarara community centre.
I am also a member of the Flowerdale tennis club and believe I could help to represent in these areas.
A lot of the long term Flowerdale residents would probably know me as I grew up in Flowerdale and still live here and I am still active here in the community. I believe I can help out on this committee and look forward to helping us build a back to normal or better Flowerdale township.

Tracie Hanna
I have extensive experience in Management on Committees.

Dayle Kalve
“Plan and work for a community even better than what you had”.
Many of us remember these words from one of the breakfast meetings in the early days after the fire.
Over the past 30 years I have watched Flowerdale change and grow until the most devastating changed of all in February.
The committee gives us the opportunity to work with government for the benefit of this community.
Throughout my working life I have worked with communities in Melbourne’s Northern & Western suburbs to help develop local decisions and bring about better outcomes for local people.
I am also experienced in obtaining funding for local projects and in building partnerships between all levels of government, non government organisations and local communities.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions on 57 802 904.

Dianne Linskins
Service to various committees, have been president for Waverley Little Athletics and life member. Secretary of State League Netball Association, Gippsland Storm.
Associate Secretary of Waverley and District softball.
Winner of Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for my work within the community for sports committees and under privileged children.
Chairman of committee responsible for 2002 World Masters Softball Tournament.
Implementation of Special Funds to enable under privileged children to participate in sports.
Working with Salvation Army and sourcing material aid for Flowerdale Community, including, Blazeaid, RSPCA. Sourcing grants through Rotary various other organisations. Responsible for distribution of vouchers for those in need. Sourcing Laptops/Computers for the community.
Main attributes I bring to the committee would be my unbiased approach to all matters and to all people with the community. My ability to stand up for what’s right and fair for all of those within my community of Flowerdale.

Vicky Parry
I am member of several committees:
Flowerdale Community House committee member for 8 years
C.F.A. Auxiliary member
Youth Group Coordinator

Steve Phelan
I have been the publican of the Flowerdale Hotel for over 8 years.

Annie Robertson
I am Annie Robertson. I am one of the three organizers of the Flowerdale Hoof Over Hills horse riding weekend which is held in October each year. Hoof Over Hills has taught me that the people of Flowerdale are exceptional in their thoughtfulness, and generous in their support, and time. For our event, no hurdle is to high, no ask is too great for our volunteers. It would be nice to give something back to my community. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Ric Stubbings
I have lived in Flowerdale since 1981. With my wife Sal, we have raised 3 children, the last of which finished schooling last year; all went to Flowerdale Kinder, Flowerdale Primary and Yea High School. We have been involved with many community groups over the years. Professionally I am a Civil & Structural Engineer and operate a home business. My main area of experience is structural design of buildings including drainage and fire services. I have also have worked in the past with water & waste water engineering and have done post graduate studies in that field. However most of you Flowerdalians will probably know me from my limited repertoire of tractor and road kill songs and insatiable appetite for jamming at the pub’s open mike sessions. I am a CFA volunteer fire fighter, play tennis, and keep some ducks and cows. I would hope my technical knowledge and love of our valley will be an asset to the recovery committee Feel free to vote for me
..(Spelt "RICK STUBBINGS" on the voting form. Don’t be confused..). Cheers Ric

Upcoming Events as at 25th May

UPCOMING EVENTS (so please mark in your diaries)

27th May
Playgroup, Flowerdale Hall “Play Bus visit with Sing and Grow” 10am

28th May
Public Meeting for Bushfire Victims, 6.30pm Flowerdale Hall. All persons who suffered loss or damage as a result of the Kilmore East/Kinglake Bushfire on 7th February for information on legal entitlements to compensation.

29th May
Special Community Meeting, 8pm Recreation Reserve, Spring Valley Road to discuss new voted in Flowerdale Recovery Committee and discuss key issues & what the community may want for the Community.

29th May
Rising from the Ashes, Yea Shire Hall, High Street, Yea 7.15pm. $25 per head, No Alcohol. Scared Weird Little Guys, Grand Wazoo, Lorin Nicholson. Book The Boite 94171983 (credit card only)

30th May
Emotional Freedom Technique Workshop, Yea Community House, 9.30am-12.30pm & 1.30pm-5.15pm. Open to all communities. Learn how to help yourself cope with any physical or emotional issues. Workshop Facilitator – Russell Cunningham. For information or booking call 57 973 070
31st May
Kinglake District Health & Wellbeing Healing Day, 11am – 5pm at Kinglake West Hall, phone Rhonda 57865247

2nd June
Steve Poltz and Greggory Page will be performing at the Flowerdale Hall, 7pm. Entry is gold coin donation. BYO drinks.

10th June
Playgroup, “Play Group Victoria, Fun Day in Whittlesea, New Horizons Church” 10am

12th June
Sunflower Day, 9.30-2.30pm in Big Tent, Kinglake Hub. Fun Games, Massages, Hair Care, Facials etc. Free gifts to take home. Bookings required phone Bronwyn Taylor, Global Care, 57 861 452 or 0408 929 594.

17th June
Play Group, Flowerdale Hall, “Fun, Games & Craft” 10am

21st June
Flowerdale Market will be held again at the Flowerdale Hall. Arts, Crafts, Fresh Fruit & Vegies, Plants & lots more. If you would like to be a stall holder the cost is $10, please call Alison on 57801223.

24th June
Play Group, Flowerdale Hall “Term Break Up – Hot Chips Lunch” 10am

19th July
Replanting at Flowerdale Primary School for the kids

16,17&18 Oct Hoof Over Hills

Steve Poltz and Greggory Page at Flowerdale

Steve Poltz and Greggorry Page will be performing at the Flowerdale Hall
2nd June, 7pm.
Entry is gold coin donation.
BYO drinks.
All Welcome

Good News on the Bridge and Meeting Update

Some very good news about the bridge was released by Murrindindi Shire today. Basically a temporary bridge will be put in place while works are being done.

See below the release from Murrindindi Shire:

"A community meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday 4 June 2009 at the Hazeldene Bridge for interested members of the community to come along and discuss
the proposed upgrade works on the Hazeldene Bridge. Council’s Manager Assets & Infrastructure, Ian Ellett, will be in attendance to discuss the proposed works and to answer any questions.

As a result of the fire damage sustained to the bridge deck, refurbishment works are currently being planned. The proposed works will involve replacement of the existing timber deck and railing with a new concrete deck and new steel barrier rails.

A temporary bridge will be installed as part of these works providing 24-hour vehicle and pedestrian access for the duration of the works. Subject to cost, it may be possible to provide a pedestrian lane as part of the new bridge deck.

Other benefits are that the bridge will be safer for vehicles and pedestrians, less at risk to fire damage, will have significantly lower maintenance needs and require less traffic closures.

There has currently been no decision in relation to the appointment of a contractor so the exact timing of these works cannot be confirmed at the present time.
Any enquiries or concerns about these proposed works should be directed to Ian Ellett, Engineering Services Team, on telephone 5772 0333. Alternatively, concerns
in writing, should be addressed to the Manager Assets &
Infrastructure, PO Box 138 Alexandra 3714."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Update from Community Meeting

The community meeting held on Friday night was attended by Christine Nixon and Tim Bamford, which was very much appreciated. Tim will be leading the masterplanning process for Flowerdale on behalf of VBRRA.

The meeting was chaired by Leanne Plietsch, the DHS hub captain.

Christine outlined the process that VBRRA would follow in working with communities to develop an overall community masterplan for the recovery effort. A key part of the process is community consultation.

The possibility of showers and toilet blocks to be located at the southern end of the town for those residents living there was raised.

The election of the Community Recovery Committee was discussed and although there was a suggestion to delay for a further week it was decided to maintain the timetable for the election. Voting forms are available at the Store, the Hub, the Flowerdale Hotel and the Shop.

Ian Ellett from Murrindindi Shire attended to discuss the Hazeldene Bridge. There is a community consensus after the petition was presented to the Shire that the community did not want the historic timber bridge removed as it was one of the few things that survived the fire. A community group will be formed to meet with shire on site to discuss all matter raised by the community.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Nominations for Flowerdale Recovery Committee

As we move from the relief phase into the recovery phase a recovery committee of six is being formed.

Nominations closed yesterday and the nominees are:

  • Sally Abbott-Smith
  • Peter Auty
  • Judy Baker
  • Julie Bateman
  • John Burgess
  • Colin Edwards
  • Christine Grant
  • Jessica Greig
  • Karen Gunter
  • Tracie Hanna
  • Dayle Kalve
  • Diane Linskins
  • Vicky Parry
  • Steve Phelan
  • Annie Robertson
  • Rick Stubbings
All votes need to be returned by Thursday 28th May by 5pm.

Options for return votes:

Post: Flowerdale Community Recovery, PO Box 2060, Hazeldene
Voting Boxes: Hazeldene Store, Flowerdale Hotel, Recreation Reserve or the Hub

All votes will be counted on Friday 29th May by DHS Personnel and the new committee will announced at the Community Meeting, 8pm, Recreation Reserve, Spring Valley Road. Also discussed at the meeting will be key issues about the recovery of the Flowerdale Community.

The voting form is available below:

Voting Form

Red Cross Relief Fund - Welcome change of tack

The Red Cross Relief FUnd has issued its report on its activities for the first 100 days.

In the report it talks about the remaining $111m in the fund and advises:

The Panel recognises that the process of rebuilding and recovery is a long-term task that needs to be undertaken in close consultation with individual communities.
As a result, in allocating the remaining $111 million of donated funds, the Panel will continue to work closely with a wide range of groups and affected communities. This will ensure the continued allocation of funds meets the long term needs of individuals and communities.

There were concerns in the major fire affected communities that no funds would be available for longer term community projects, particularly in areas where things could be done more effectively on a community rather than individual basis.

It has also been difficult for communities to have input into the process. Let's hope that the recent report signals that there will be the opportunity for community projects that help rebuild in a safer and more sustainable manner.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bushfire Recovery Support Group

Flowerdale Bushfire Recovery
Support Group

Mondays 1:30-3:15pm

At Flowerdale Community Hall
Support group for all affected by the bushfires

To get support and learn strategies to manage your recovery

Facilitated by:
Zoe: Community Mental Health Phone: 5735 0333
Kate: Mitchell Community Health Services Phone: 5735 5555

Please Ring Zoe or Kate for further information

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Upcoming events

20th May
Playgroup, Flowerdale Hall “Welcome Back Party” 10am

22nd May

Community Meeting, 8pm Recreation Reserve, Spring Valley Road

23rd May

Bus Service to Epping (see details in Community Meeting Update)

24th May

Luna Park Day (See Diane at the hub for details & to book)

27th May

Playgroup, Flowerdale Hall “Play Bus visit with Sing and Grow” 10am

29th May

Special Community Meeting, 8pm Recreation Reserve, Spring Valley Road to discuss new voted in Flowerdale Recovery Committee and discuss key issues & what the community may want for the Community.

29th May

Rising from the Ashes, Yea Shire Hall, High Street, Yea 7.15pm. $25 per head, No Alcohol. Scared Weird Little Guys, Grand Wazoo, Lorin Nicholson. Book The Boite 94171983 (credit card only)
30th May Emotional Freedom Technique Workshop, Yea Community House, 9.30am-12.30pm & 1.30pm-5.15pm. Open to all communities. Learn how to help yourself cope with any physical or emotional issues. Workshop facilitator, Russell Cunningham. For information or booking call 57 973 070.

2nd June

Steve Poltz and Greggory Page will be performing at the Flowerdale Hall, 7pm. Entry is gold coin donation. BYO drinks.

10th June

Playgroup, “Play Group Victoria, Fun Day in Whittlesea, New Horizons Church” 10am

17th June

Play Group, Flowerdale Hall, “Fun, Games & Craft” 10am

21st June

Flowerdale Market will be held again at the Flowerdale Hall. Arts, Crafts, Fresh Fruit & Vegies, Plants & lots more. If you would like to be a stall holder the cost is $10, please call Alison on 57801223.

24th June

Play Group, Flowerdale Hall “Term Break Up – Hot Chips Lunch” 10am

26th June

Youth Group Sleepover at the Hall

15th July

Youth Group trip to Science Works

19th July

Replanting at Flowerdale Primary School for the kids

16,17&18 Oct

Hoof Over Hills

Flowerdale Community Recovery Update

- Grocon have cleared over 180 sites.
- DHS are encouraging residents to go and see Leanne at the Hub to apply for any grants that ma
ybe available or for any other help required. If you know anyone who needs help in applying or general information please tell them to get in contact Leanne who willing to help.
- Community Leadership Australia is offering to help with courses to develop skills, grant submission and prepare to lobby government.
- Grant of $2,000 for winter warmth will be automatically paid to people who are eligible – no paperwork required. Further queries see Leanne.
- A free photograph service to people who lost their homes will be organised for July for a family portrait. Date still to be advised.
- A suggestion was put forward to open relief centre for longer hours for people who work and finding it hard to get to hub during its present hours. Leanne will follow up to see what can be done.
- There is a replanting day at the school for the kids 3rd Sunday in July.
- Luna Park Day, 24th May all entry & rides are for free. See Diane at the Hub to book tickets and further details.
- Animal Registrations for the Shire: if you no longer have animals that are registered with Shire could you please contact them to remove from register as they will soon be sending out renewal of registrations.

New Bus Service Timetable

Thursday – To Seymour


Hazeldene Store 8.55am
Flowerdale Pub 9.00am
Rec Reserve 9.10am
Strath Creek 9.20am


Friday – To Yea


Hazeldene Store 8.55am

Flowerdale Pub 9.00am
Rec Reserve 9.10am


Bus to Epping
Saturday 23rd May, must book through Dennis 57801221. Cost $10 per person.
Rec Reserve 9.40am
Flowerdale Pub 9.45am
Hazeldene Store 9.50am
Arrive 11.00am Approx.
Depart 4.30pm Approx.

Please use our bus services so we might be able to keep for the future and add other bus services.

The Village Looking Great

I visited the village on the weekend and it is looking fantastic. There are 14 completed units that have all been occupied. There are footings for another three units and I believe that more are on the way.

The road that we were concerned about early days is not only in place it has roadposts and speed limit signs.

It was also great to talk to the people living there who I have got to know since the fires. They are all very impressed with the heating and also the quality of the units. More importantly they are all happy to be back and living in the community.

There is still some work going on but by and large the whole exercise has been a great success.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Memorial Service and Celebration brings the community together

The Memorial Service and Celebration saw a huge turnout from the Flowerdale Community and its supporters.

The Service was the first time the Community had got together to remember those who died in the Flowerdale area on Black Saturday. The service was led by Chaplaincy Australia and all attendees signed the attendance book and were asked to place a flower in the wreaths. For me personally it was a time to reflect as well as remind me that we need to work together to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Chaplaincy Australia leads the Memorial Service

The service was follwed by a celebration of the Community spirit with music, kids activities and food and drink. The talent on show was excellent.

An acoustic duo get the celebration rolling

The Flowerdale School choir also did a couple of songs most notably forever young, it was great for both the kids and all who attended.

While I didn't do a count there seemed to be around 400-500 people there. The event was organised by John Burgess, Peter Auty and David Thomas, who did an amazing job in such a short time.

Big thank yous go to Chaplaincy Australia, particularly Phil Martin, the Australian Childrens Trust Fund, (Andrew Forrest's foundation) and also Steve and Viv from the Flowerdale Hotel who put on the drinks. Also all the volunteers who worked tirelssly during the day. Thanks to Jessica Mason for the design of the memorial badge.

Update from Community Meeting

The main topic of discussion at the Community Meeting on Friday was the nomination and election of the Community Committee for the Recovery process.

Nominations have been called for and will close on Thursday, 21st May. Instead of voting on 22nd may the Community meeting decided that the election should be done by post with votes closing on Friday 29th May. This would give people more time to consider the nominations and who to vote for.

The votes will be counted by DHS. and the results announced at the Community Meeting on 29th May.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Community Recovery Model

The model for the Community Led Recovery planning process as discussed at the Community workshop is set out below:


Community input for the towns needs and requirements for now and the future.


Discussions have taken place and these groups or nominated representative feel it’s important to utilize the existing committee base, to broaden the number of people the whole community can feed their thoughts too and contribute to identifying Community needs.

WORK GROUPS: - (Work Engine)

Work Groups must be formed to identify, funding, materials, property and timelines. To build or create a funding plan for the projects that have been discussed and decided upon through the consultation of the Community feeding their needs through the Community Leaders Group.


1. Community require and additional fire fighting appliance for the Flowerdale C.F.A.
2. Community Leaders Group discuss, identify what is required to best suit the C.F.A to make Flowerdale a safer town, Which could be:- a new light tanker, or a number of slip ons, water supply across the township etc. etc..

3. This Work Group would probably be headed by C.F.A Captain or his nominee. This Group would be asked to identify, funding opportunities through their own organisation, costing of each scenario and best options for the Community.
4. This information is quickly escalated to the Flowerdale Recovery Committee, whose role it will be to prioritize and fast track the Communities wishes.


This committee originally formed as the Emergency Response Team, which feels it has achieved its objective in providing emergency housing, food and shelter. This Committee agreed unanimously the need to transit to a new elected body, more focused on Recovery than Relief.


Are ambassadors and advocates for the Flowerdale Community which has been operating to date by Peter Williams – Deloittes and John Burgess.

These roles are to meet with Government Heads and agencies as well as utilizing their skill sets and networking with philanthropy and other donatory bodies, to enable funding for the actions filtering down from the Community through the various groups mentioned through the upside down triangle model.


Our community is looking for a person/s who are prepared to self sacrifice their time to commit to the needs and requirements of the whole Flowerdale Community.

The person/s will need to be dedicated, forward thinking, a good communicator, and prepared to roll up their sleeves.

The person/s will join and be part of a committee which will play a major role in the Flowerdale Recovery.

This committee will prioritise the long term objectives for Flowerdale. As the community will be aware this is a long term project (2-5 years).

If this is you or a person you know please feel free to nominate for any of these six positions.

If you wish to nominate yourself or another person for a position in the Committee please contact Julie Bateman via Email:
Or send your nomination to: PO Box 2060, Hazeldene, 3658.

This nomination process will be extremely confidential and the nominations will only be declared at the Forum meeting on 22nd May.

All nominations must be received by 2.00pm Thursday 21st May.

Nomination Form

Monday, May 11, 2009

Flowerdale Community Recovery Update 11th May


Community Meetings
Community meetings will be held at the Rec Reserve, Spring Valley Road on Friday evenings commencing 8pm

Updates from Community Meeting 8th May
- The bridge at Hazeldene Store has now been put on hold by the Shire until further consultation with Community.

- Grocon are over half way finished clearing of houses/blocks.

- Fencing
- Shire has advised steel & wire fencing can be disposed of at the tips for free. Treated Pine posts still being discussed as to how property owners can dispose of with Grocon and VBRRA
- If you require help with replacing fencing, Blazeaid may be able to offer assistance, please phone Kevin Butler 0418530471 to see if they can assist.

- Surveying of blocks/land is still in discussion with Shire & other Government Departments as how this is going to be done and timelines.

- Salvation Army have now announced second round of grants for people who have lost their homes. See Diane at the Hub for details.

- Pathways can offer assistance in sourcing furniture and other household needs. See Pathways or Diane at the Hub for further information.

- Lindsay Fox Warehouse, Shed 48, 1508 Centre Road, Clayton is open again, Mondays & Fridays where you can access furniture, household goods, clothing and other general items, they will also deliver items. You must ring first to make an appointment, Phone: Samantha Barring 040209707 or Mick Best 0408381133. Don’t forget to take your Blue DHS form with you on the day.

- Luna Park Day, 24th May All entry & rides are for free. See Diane at the Hub to book tickets and further details.

Weekly Tennis Coaching at Flowerdale
o Sundays at Spring Valley Recreation Reserve from 10am-12noon
o Mondays at the Flowerdale Primary School. First for children followed by adults from 1 to 2pm.

Lessons are ½ hour per group. All who have enrolled have been allocated a timeslot. The roster is displayed in the bar at Flowerdale Hotel. The coaching is conducted by professional tennis coaches who have volunteered. Please come on time and contact Jeannette (57 801 520) if you are unable to attend as there are some players on the reserve list who would like to have a go in the event of vacancy.

Flowerdale Community House Activities
Bushfire Support Group for bushfire affected people in Flowerdale/Strath Creek areas. Time sharing, practical support, information on trauma management with facilitators Kate Lewer and Zoe Edmonds. Mondays at CFA shed from 1.30pm. Afternoon tea provided. For more information call Odette on 57 801 372.

Patchwork Group The patchwork group is now meeting at the Strath Creek hall on Tuesdays from 7-9pm. Anyone with an interest in patchwork or any other craft is most welcome to join the group.
Yoga Tuesdays in the old library at Kinglake West next to the Hall commencing 7.30pm. Tutor Wayne McGivney. Cost $5.

Massage Massages will now be held at the Flowerdale Hall, Tuesdays 10-4pm. Free of charge.


UPCOMING EVENTS (so please mark in your diaries)

15th May

Telstra Information Caravan will be at the Bus Stop near the Hazeldene Store, 9- 12 noon to discuss any communication needs or problems

15th May
Community Meeting, 8pm Recreation Reserve, Spring Valley Road

17th May
Service & Celebration 1pm, Moores Road, Recreation Reserve (behind the

18th May
Heavenly Cuppa, Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, 10am Kinglake West Uniting
Church, 1050 Main Road, Kinglake West. Cost $5.00 cuppa and cake, proceeds in aid of Cancer Council of Victoria and Bushfire Relief. All Welcome.

22nd May
Special Community Meeting, 8pm Recreation Reserve, Spring Valley Road to
discuss with the community the structure of committees and nominations

24th May
Luna Park Day (See Diane at the hub for details & to book)

29th May
Community Meeting, 8pm Recreation Reserve, Spring Valley Road

2nd June
Steve Poltz and Greggory Page will be performing at the Flowerdale Hall, 7pm.
Entry is gold coin donation. BYO drinks.

21st June
Flowerdale Market will be held again at the Flowerdale Hall. Arts, Crafts, Fresh
Fruit & Vegies, Plants & lots more. If you would like to be a stall holder the cost is $10, please call Alsion on 57801223.

16,17&18 Oct
Hoof Over Hills (more details as it gets closer)

Information for Building in Bushfire Prone Areas

Our friends in the CSIRO have provided us with a guide to building in a Bushfire prone area.

As many blocks are now being cleared residents are starting to look to get moving with rebuilding.

We are also talking to VBRRA about putting people on the ground to help Flowerdale residents with planning, permits and advice.

Bushfire Information CSIRO (2) Bushfire Information CSIRO (2) Flowerdale

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Service and Celebration

On 17th May, 2009 there will be a Community Service and Celebration held at the Moores Rd Reserve. We invite all those from the Community or with an interest in Flowerdale to attend

Service & Celebration Flyer

Friday, May 8, 2009

Working with VBRRA on the Recovery

We have had discussions with VBRRA on the Recovery planning process.

- VBRRA have asked all the relevant authorities to revert to them with their plans by 15th May, this will cover many areas from roads, education, telecommunications, community services etc
- VBRRA has provided representatives to work with us on developing the Community Input into the plan. This will incorporate the outcomes of the Community Workshop and we intend to have a further Forum the week after the Service and Celebration, to flesh out the key projects required to meet the community aspirations (eg another tanker for CFA, Community House)
- We will need to identify where there are projects/aspirations required by the Community that aren't covered in the plans of the relevant authorities and seek to fund these projects. These funds could come from bushhfire grant programs, existing grant programs, philanthropy, our Flowerdale Relief fundraising and Corporate or Community support

There is a meeting on 12th May which will be attended by John Burgess and Peter Williams (me) to work through the next stages of the planning. Fortunately both the representatives from VBRRA attended the Community Workshop and have a good understanding of both the overall recovery operation and the issues and aspirations of Flowerdale.

We look forward to moving ahead with the plan and will ensure that there is maximum community input. If there are things you think we need to be focused on that haven't been mentioned please let us know. Check the post of the community aspirations and ideas contributed by residents.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Service & Celebration Day 17th May 1pm

The Flowerdale Community is holding a Service & Celebration day inconjunction with Chaplaincy Australia on the 17th May from 1pm onwards at the Moores Road Reserve, (left into Kenny's Rd past the hotel, left hand side over the bridge).

After the service there will be music & entertainment.

There will be a courtesy bus operating:
Depart CFA Shed 12.15 & via Forest Road, Hazeldene Store to Moores Road.
Depart Forest Rd 12.45 & via Moores Road, Recreation Reserve (Spring Valley Road) to Moores Road.

If you have more than 5 people for bus before these times & after event please phone
Henry 0427 808 435 to arrange pickups & returns.

Everyone welcome to attend so hoping to see you all there.

Flowerdale Relief Fund

We had the first meeting of the Flowerdale Relief fund last night. To date $47,000 has been raised.

The signatories on the account are John Burgess, Steve Phelan and Darren Heveren from Deloitte. Pete Williams, (that is me), and Peter Auty were in attendance in our role in terms of assisting in the fundraising activities.

The following key points were raised:

- There is a Community Plan being developed in conjunction with VBRRA which will include the key community aspirations and projects that came from the Community Workshop and will continue to be developed via further Community Forums. We understand the plans will be finalised by 15th June incorporating rounds of Community Consultation
- Many of the projects that are included in the plan will be funded by Government agencies at either the Federal, State or Local Government level
- If projects that the Community sees as high priority are not funded, we will be able to fund these projects either with the Flowerdale Relief fund or in conjunction with philanthropists or government grant programs
- There is also the opportunity to access grant programs that provide either $ for $ matching which could help get leverage from the funds we have raised
- We will continue to raise funds to ensure we can meet the aspirations of the community

Basically the view is to not spend money on things now that may be funded by other sources, and have a buffer to be able to ensure we can get the things done that are important to the community.

New Communications for Flowerdale Community

We now have new way of communicating with residents of the Flowerdale Community.
I am Julie Bateman, I am now the point of contact for anyone who is interested in knowing what events, activities and meetings are happening in the valley.
I also have now been given the rights to update blog on regular basis to inform people of what has been happening in the area or new events etc that will be happening in the future.
If you would like to be added to database with contact details please advise me asap by the following:
Via Email: send an email to
Via Post: send your details to: Flowerdale Community Recovery, PO Box 2060, Hazeldene 3658
Via Mobile: send your details to email address above or by post to our PO Box.
Please tell everyone you know that would be interested in keeping up to date with information.
If you have any queries please ring me on 0418589072.

Monday, May 4, 2009

New TShirt Entry

We have had a new entry into the T Shirt competition, from a local Flowerdallian. We will be putting th designs to the Community when we next have a major get together.

Good article in the Herald Sun today about the difficulties of living in a caravan with the cold weather coming in.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Michael Somare visits the Flowerdale CFA

Sir Michael Somare, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea visited Flowerdale CFA last week as part of his state visit to Australia. Sir Michael had asked if he could visit disaster areas both in Victoria rleating to the bushfires and North Queensland relating to the floods.

Sir Michael Somare meets Captain Glen Woods from Flowerdale CFA

Flowerdale CFA members put on a lunch and Sir Michael mixed with members of the CFA and community. These visits are important to the Community to reinforce the support that is out there not only in Australia but also from our friends around the world

Community Meeting Update - 1st May 2009

A community meeting was held on Friday night at the Rec Reserve, the key topics covered were:

Communications - Julie Bateman has taken on the role of Community Communications. This will include building the database of addresses, send out regular information either by post or email on any topics that are of importance to the residents. This will cover events, meetings, information provided by VBRRA, services that are made available by organisations such as massage, photo recovery etc. If you know of people who aren't getting information let us know.

Service and Celebration - There is a community service and celebration to be held on 17th May at 1.00pm at the Moores Rd Reserve, which is behind the Flowerdale Hotel across the bridge to the left. This will include a service which will be led by Chaplaincy Australia, dedication to the lives lost, and then a celebration of the Flowerdale Community including music and food. The Service is open to all the Community and also those who have provided support to the Community since Black Saturday and we welcome anyone who has an interest in Flowerdale and would like to attend.

Firewood - There is split dry firewood coming to town, estimated time of arrival is Monday afternoon, it will be at the entrance to the Moores Rd Reserve.

Vicroads - Ian Barry provided a detailed overview of the issues related to the issues around roads since day 1 and are appointing a contractor via a tender process to work in Flowerdale to fix guard rails, trees, roadside stops, lines etc. Ian can be contacted 0357611861

Standpipe - The standpipe across the road from the Hotel will be operational from next week and be available for CFA or Farmers with affected dams or waterways.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Essendon parties for Flowerdale

Moonee Valley residents together with Victorian Police made a significant contribution to the “Flowerdale Tennis Court Fundraiser” with over $10,000 being raised in a one night gala event held at Conlan Tennis, Essendon, on Saturday evening the 18th of April, 2009. It saw over 100 guests enjoy a fast paced evening of live bands, food and entertainment, culminating in an enjoyable and amusing charity auction. The money raised, in partnership with Tennis Victoria, will contribute towards the rebuilding and expansion of the current tennis court complex at Flowerdale.

The event, arranged by tennis coach Phil Conlan from Conlan Tennis and Michael Prowse from Moonee Valley CIU, saw police and local tennis enthusiasts earlier in March make a show-of-support visit to Flowerdale in a mini-bus provided by Victoria Police. Conlan said he was moved by the extent of both the destruction and the tragic accounts of community members. “I wanted to provide practical assistance that would help lift the community’s spirit” said Conlan who also committed to providing ongoing technical advice and support for the Flowerdale Tennis Club. With the Flowerdale cricket field currently out of action, occupied by temporary accommodation, the tennis courts were permanently opened to the general community with the court surface now dealing with rollerblading and other non-traditional tennis activities.

Phil Conlan the organiser of the event

At the fundraising party in Essendon, Jeannette Kamar from the Flowerdale Tennis Club gave a harrowing account of the devastation when an unexpected wind change during February’s “Black Saturday” saw their idyllic community explode into a fireball of unimaginable horror as the raging inferno indiscriminately took life and property. Revelers remained uncharacteristically silent throughout, captivated by the enthusiasm and passion as she outlined advanced plans for the immediate rebuilding phase, commencing with construction of a temporary township and proudly related how in addition to the current 45 active players, 45 new players have registered to start playing since the fires.

Well known Essendon real estate identity, Milo Rasinac of Nelson Alexander, auctioned prizes including a sought after Serena Williams’s tennis racquet and a trip to the Gold Coast, knocked down quickly after spirited bidding.

Paul Gardiner of Gardiner Architects, providing pro bono architectural services to the Flowerdale Spring Valley Recreation Reserve via the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction & Recovery Authority, gave a well presented outline on his work to date.

Jeannette was joined by Flowerdale Tennis Club Assistant Treasurer, Vivian Phelan, publican of the Flowerdale hotel, which in the fire aftermath provided meals to local residents free of charge. She was accompanied by Karen Walker, the tennis clubs Treasurer who lost her lodgings and possessions.

Jeannette, Vivian and Karen thoroughly enjoyed the party and where amazed by the support of their new friends who raised $10.000 towards the 4 new tennis courts that will be built at the Spring Valley Recreation Reserve in Flowerdale. The new infrastructure is being established to support the influx of new tennis players since the bush fire disaster. Tennis Victoria is assisting the new players by providing free tennis coaching during term 2 for all the children at the Flowerdale Primary school on Mondays and the wider Community on Sundays. If you want to join in and have a go, please contact Jeannette on 57801 520.