Sunday, October 25, 2009

Circus Oz tickets

Circus Oz is performing in the Big Top at the Flowerdale Recreation Reserve on 7th November, 2009. The performance is for Flowerdale residents and tickets are free.

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

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Community Hall gets renovated in a day

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

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

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
Odette and family
& everyone else who we may have forgotten

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hoof Over Hills Photos

After a battle with my Flickr account I have been able to upload photos from Hoof Over Hills.

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, its free and I find it a good place to store and share photos. The address for the group is 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

Easy like a Sunday Morning - Hoof over Hills

After a big day on Saturday the Sunday ride headed out at 10.00am for a leisurely ride across the hills and along the fast flowing King Parrot Creek. Everybody was in good spirits and we caught up with some of the riders to talk about their "Hoof over" experience and also what is was like riding through the fire affected areas.

Lots of Ruckus at Hoof over Hills Community Dinner

The highlight for the community is always the Saturday night dinner and this year was the biggest ever. The riders and their crew and community all got together for an action packed night of food, drink and entertainment. Over 900 people were in attendance on night that was particularly important to the community as it was the first Hoof Over Hills since the fires in February.

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 kicks off with the Saturday Ride

Friday was a big day in Flowerdale as not only did the Prime Minister and Premier come to town but also the riders participating in the 2009 Hoof over Hills came into town and set up camp.

Firday night was Riders Night with dinner and entertainment. By all reports it was a great night that really kicked in with about 400 people.

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 Bundy Van kept riders hydrated during the ride

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.

"Setting out for the second leg"

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

Rebuilding Together Recovery Plan launched by Prime Minister in Flowerdale

Today 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.

Kevin Rudd launches the statewide plan

John Brumby talks about the recovery and plan

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
  • 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 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

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.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Direct Assistance from Sustainability Victoria

Sustainability Victoria has prepared fact sheets to assist people rebuilding in Bushfire Areas. In addition Sustainability Victoria will come out to meet with you to assist in ensuring your building design is sustinable and takes advantage of using smart design to reduce the energy needs of your home.

See the flyer below for contact details. Comprehensive information on all things related to rebuilding in the one place can also be found at

Sustainibilty Victoria Assistance

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Circus Oz is Coming to town

Circus Oz is coming to town and will be working with the community and then putting a show on for the Community.

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 @

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

Community House Update

Back in May the Community House Committee and Flowerdale Recovery Committee submitted an application to the Federal Government's Jobs Fund to build a Community House and also employ building and sustainability advisers to help accelerate the rebuilding process thus providing jobs for builders and associated contractors. In addition the Community House will provide a location for service providers in areas such as health, adult education and recreation activities.

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.

Kinder Update

The location of the Kinder was recently finalised at a meeting with the Kinder Committee, School Council, Flowerdale Recovery Committee, Jarara Committee, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Murrindindi Shire Council.

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
The decision was overwhelming in support for the Kinder to be located at the school.

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.