Sunday, May 30, 2010

Flowerdale Shines at Illuminated by Fire Launch

Regional Arts Victoria came to Flowerdale on Saturday 29 May to hold its Annual General Meeting and to launch the project Illuminated by Fire.

There were many dignitaries in attendance including the Governor of Victoria, Michael de Kretser, Minister for the Arts, Peter Batchelor and Emergency Services Commissioner, Bruce Esplin. The rec reserve car park was full of cars with locals and visitors from across the state.

Prior to the AGM the Minister officially launched the Illuminated by Fire project. The project will see 11 artists across different Victorian Communities provide different views on the relationship with fire in Victoria.

Sharon Collins, the effervescent leader of the Arts Work Engine in Flowerdale, is one of the artists whose projects was selected. Sharon's project Enlightened Spirits will see the casting of people's hands from across the community which will be hung from a habitat tree and incorporate Fibre Optic lighting. This is something in which all in the community can participate.

When Sharon described her project at the podium she said it represented the coming together of the community since Black Saturday. In Sharon's words "prior to the fire we knew a few people in the area, since the fire we now have hundreds of new best friends".

The most spectacular part of the launch was the lighting of 11 Black 44 Gallon Drums which had patterns cut into them which lit up when the bins were set on fire.

The Flowerdale Drum burns brightly

After the Launch there was a light lunch in the Rec Reserve Clubrooms with an art exhibition of works by local artists. The diversity of the exhibition was a real eye opener with paintings, glasswork, woodwork and photography contributed by a wide range of local artists.

One of the Art Works by Sharon Collins

Perhaps the highlight for me was the number of people commenting on the spirit of the community as well as the way so many people pitched in to make the day a great success. I heard so many people say "what an amazing community".

Those people included:

  • Sharon Collin's for the work she did in coordinating the event
  • Pete Auty and the CFA who set up the Fire Drums
  • Andrew Holyoak who cut the patterns into the drums
  • The local artists who set up the display and contributed works
  • The Community House people who did the lunch and refreshments
  • Samm Hall for all the work she did in capturing photos of the event
  • David Thompson who set up the Audio Visual equipment

and I am sure there were others who also pitched in.

Also a big thanks to the drumming group who provided the music on the day.

It was a wonderful day and Flowerdale really shone.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Project Reference Group Required for Community House

The Program Reference Group for Community House requires two Flowerdale/Hazeldene Community Representatives to be part of this group.
Please consider nominating a person or yourself as part of the building of new Community House.

PRG Comm House


(You must register for this program see flyer below)

A parenting support program developed for mothers, fathers and carers of children and teenagers affected by the early 2009 Victorian bushfires will be held in Flowerdale this month.
The free, six-session program is designed to help parents and carers manage feelings of stress and anxiety in themselves and their children and give them the skills and confidence they need to support their family’s recovery.

The evidence-informed program has been developed collaboratively by the Parenting Research Centre and the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health.

Warren Cann, Executive Director of the Parenting Research Centre, says the program was developed using the latest research into the impact of trauma following a disaster.
“It has been specifically developed for parents and carers of children and teenagers affected by the early 2009 bushfires including the Black Saturday fires,” he said.

It will provide them with practical, effective strategies tailored to their own family’s needs and goals.”

Mr Cann said that the program will focus on supporting parents and carers of children and teenagers affected by the 2009 bushfires to:

• plan activities that they and their child can enjoy
• develop supportive connections with other people and local services
• manage feelings of distress that they or their child may be experiencing
• develop ways of thinking that are helpful and calming

The program will be led by trained and experienced facilitators in small, supportive groups of between four and ten people. It will be delivered across Victoria by local community organisations working with the Parenting Research Centre, wherever need is identified.

“We want to make sure that this program is delivered in the areas where it’s needed, so programs will be held when and where families or local services identify a need,” Mr Cann said.
Parents, carers and professionals can register their interest in the program by visiting or contacting 1800 780 720.

The Parenting Children and Teenagers Affected by Bushfire program has been made possible by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund on behalf of donors across Australia and the world.

Flowerdale: Session One 9/6/10 10am-12noon

Parenting Children Support Flowerdale

Electric Vehicle & Organics Workshop 5th & 6th June

PLEASE NOTE: Time for Organics Workshop should read 1pm onwards.
Electric Vehicle & Organics Workshop

Kinglake, Flowerdale, Toolangi Urban Design Framework

Kinglake, Flowerdale, Toolangi Urban Framework

Illuminated by Fire - now starts at 12.00pm

Regional Arts Victoria, in association with Flowerdale Community House and the Flowerdale community, is pleased to invite you to attend the launch of Illuminated by Fire on Saturday May 29, 2010 from 12.00pm at the Flowerdale Community Temporary Village, Spring Valley Rd, Flowerdale.
The launch will introduce the 11 artists and projects who will make-up the Illuminated by Fire project in 2010-11, as well as some exciting examples of what we can expect from the project.
More info at

Great to see this is being pulled together on Facebook, no wonder the Flowerdale Community is seen as Social Media stars

Monday, May 24, 2010

Extension Planning Permits Temporary Accomodation

Just letting you know that the Planning Minister has extended the planning permit exemption for temporary accommodation for another year, recognising that fire-affected residents are continuing to rebuild at their own pace and in many cases want to live in temporary accommodation on their property while they oversee the rebuilding of their permanent home.

The amendment changes the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and all planning schemes in Victoria by amending Clause 52.38 to:

• Reinstate the planning scheme exemptions for a further 12 months, until 31 March 2011.

• Extend the time by which uses must be bought into compliance with the planning scheme until 31 March 2012.

For more information people should contact their local council or the Mobile Building Advisory Service.

Work Starts at the School

It is really pleasing to see that work has started at the Flowerdale Primary School to build new facilities to combine the School and Kindergarten to create an Early Learning Precinct.

This project was announced in the Rebuilding Together Plan launched by the Prime Minister and Premier at the Flowerdale Primary School.

The overall budget for the project is more than $2m and is probably the biggest project to kick off in Flowerdale for many years.

It has been a long process to get to this stage but now work is under way and is expected to be finished by October. The project is being run by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

The most noticeable thing driving through the town is the amazing amount of building work being undertaken by people rebuilding their homes and there is a real feeling of recovery. So it is great to see one of the major recovery projects get started.

The pine trees adjacent to the School have also been removed.

Plans are going to be displayed on a sign at the school.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Outcomes of Mediation

As many of you may be aware a petition of No Confidence in the Flowerdale Recovery Committee (FRC) was presented to the Murrindindi Bushfire Recovery Section 86 Committee by the Hazeldene Community Action Group (HCAG).

Following the petition it was agreed that a mediation session would be held between the FRC and HCAG. Agreement was reached as set out below:

Below is a direct transcription from the whiteboard notes taken at the meeting.

1. Monthly mtg of FRC-community- agencies at Community Hall = “Community Meeting”
2. MSC to ensure notice boards and suggestion boxes go in
3. FRC / MSC to consult on noticeboard location at first community meeting
4. Renew / replenish membership = public meetings and FRC meeting
5. Valuation of painting – pro bono – Location in Community House? - consultation
FRC to report back to community re: valuation
6. Jane and John to exchange ph nos
7. Men’s Shed, Comm Garden, Arts Studio – location - Spring Valley Rd residents consulted, next step community consultation MSC process and Jane to forward results of survey and stakeholders.
8. Comm House. Residents in Silver Creek Rd to be provided with copy of plans by Community House Inc. Consultation /feedback to be included
9. Donated Goods – Deb Symons to follow up
10. HCAG and FRC agreed that they had a good collaborative meeting and the outcomes are listed above.

(Signed by all present from HCAG and FRC, and the mediator)

The above was transcribed into the following Memorandum of Agreement:

Memorandum of Agreement from the
Flowerdale Community Recovery Committee and
Hazeldene Community Action Group Meeting

6th of May 2010

Below are the outcomes of a meeting between the Hazeldene Community Action Group and Flowerdale Community Recovery Committee on May 6th 2010. Both parties agree that this document is a true and accurate representation of what was agreed.

1. The monthly meetings of the Flowerdale Community Recovery Committee (CRC) to which agencies are invited will be conducted at the Flowerdale Community Hall as community meetings, and the input/participation of the community is encouraged and welcomed. (It may be necessary to change from the first Monday of the month).

2. Hazeldene Community Action Group (CAG) indicated that they were aware of the processes recently put in place, through the MBRRC, regarding membership on the Flowerdale CRC and, for this reason, accepted that the agreement reached in Point 1 was a manageable alternative to renewing/replenishing the Flowerdale CRC membership.

3. Murrindindi Shire Council (in collaboration with the Flowerdale CRC will arrange 5 notice boards and some suggestion boxes to be erected at locations to be determined.

4. Flowerdale CRC and Murrindindi Shire Council (MSC) will consult the community on potential locations for the notice boards/suggestion boxes at the first community meeting (resulting from Point 1 above).

5. Representatives of Hazeldene CAG will arrange valuation, on a pro bono basis, of a painting of Silver Parrot Creek donated to the community. Hazeldene CAG will report back to the Flowerdale CRC, the community, and VBRRA with the outcomes. The Flowerdale CRC will then arrange consultation on the future location of the painting. It was noted that the Community House is a possibility.

6. Jane Carey and John Burgess agreed to exchange contact details to assist future liaison.

7. a) It was noted that proposals for a Men’s Shed, Community Garden and Artist Studio at the Spring Valley Reserve have been discussed with residents adjoining the Reserve. MSC is planning to conduct wider community consultation at the Flowerdale Hall regarding the proposals for a Men’s Shed, Community Garden and Artist Studio, probably in early June.
b) Jane Carey advised that Hazeldene CAG has conducted a survey within the Hazeldene Community and will provide the results of the survey to VBRRA and the Flowerdale CRC. Data collected includes information regarding community infrastructure and all relevant results will be presented.

8. Residents in Silver Creek Road are to be provided with a copy of the Community House plans by Flowerdale Community House Incorporated’s Project Manager, when they are available. Consultation on the plans will be arranged at a date to be determined.

9. Deb Symons from VBRRA will follow up in relation to questions about donated goods and advise the Flowerdale CRC and Hazeldene CAG of the outcome of her investigations.

10. Hazeldene CAG and Flowerdale CRC agreed that they had a good collaborative meeting and the outcomes are listed above.

On point 1 regarding meetings the first of the FRC meetings with government agencies and community members will be held at 7.00pm at the Community Hall on 7th June, 2010.

On points 3 and 4 the location of the notice boards will be discussed at the meeting on 7th June.

On point 5 the painting has been provided to HCAG to arrange the valuation.

On point 8 the Project Control Group has appointed Antartica, to do the plans for the new community house and the work started two weeks ago. These plans will be made available as soon as they are to hand.

Arts Draw a great sucess

After a lot of hard work by the Arts Work Engine led by Sharon Collins and her team the Arts Draw kicked off today.

The was a big crowd and lots of happy faces as names were drawn out and people went to collect their chosen work.

All the works were hung in the Bluescope Steel Shed at the Rec Reserve after a great team effort by volunteers on Saturday.

The whole event was made possible by the work of the team at Aaarwun Art Gallery in Canberra who collected all the works for the community.

A big thanks to the Arts Work Engine, DHS and the local volunteers who made the day a success.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mens Get Away

Mens Get Away I

Flowerdale Young Women's Pamper Day

Flowerdale Young Women's Pamper Day (15-25 years)

Makeup, Hair Stylist,Massage

Saturday, 22 May 2010, 12 noon - 4pm

Location : Flowerdale Community House, Flowerdale Hall
Registration is essential. Please contact:
Renee on 0457 826 051 or Catherine on 0457 831 006 Limited places available
Toy Library Flowerdale

Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands Kinglake West

Monday, May 17, 2010

Collecting Women's Stories of Life after Bushfire

Collecting Womens Stories

Illuminated by Fire Project Launch!

Illuminated by Fire Project Launch!
Date:Saturday, May 29, 2010
Time:1:30pm - 3:30pm
Location:Flowerdale Community Temporary Village, Spring Valley Rd, Flowerdale.

Regional Arts Victoria, in association with Flowerdale Community House and the Flowerdale community, is pleased to invite you to attend the launch of Illuminated by Fire on Saturday May 29, 2010 from 1.30pm at the Flowerdale Community Temporary Village, Spring Valley Rd, Flowerdale.

Sharon Collins one our local artists will be launching her local project.
The launch will also the other 10 artists and projects who will make-up the Illuminated by Fire project in 2010-11, as well as some exciting examples of what we can expect from the project.

More info at"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Arts Draw next Sunday - make sure to register

Just a reminder that the Arts Draw for the art works donated by Aarwun Art Gallery, for those who lost their home, will take place next Sunday at the Rec Reserve. You need to register with DHS to take part of the draw so if you haven't done so already make sure you contact Leanne Pleasch at the Hub. There is also a set up day on 22nd May from 11.00am if you can spare some time to help out. It should be a great weekend so look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Presentations from Organics Forum

I have just received some of the presentations from the organics forum, there is information on Soil, Organics Supply Chain and a case study on Ceres.

Soil Biology

Organics Supply Chain

Organics Case Study Ceres

Work Engines

When I first heard about “work engines”, I didn’t like the sound of them. The term made me think of boring meetings in cold rooms, of hard grinding work with little reward and volunteering for jobs no-one else wanted to do. The way I saw it, there was nothing attractive about being part of a work engine. Of course, cowardice made sure that I kept that idea to myself, and narrow-mindedness made sure I didn’t think beyond my own picture of what a work engine might be.

So time went on and it was impossible not to notice the little groups which had started to spring up all over the place. Work engines. Horrible things. I tried so hard not to like them. I tried not to get involved. And, to be truthful, I was a bit peeved when our quiet little morning coffee sessions at the Hazeldene Store, were transformed into the local arena for creative ideas.

Take the “Artsys”. They emerged from the fires – a small group of people with little else but family and creativity in their stock of assets. There they are, working together, supporting each other and creating more than just a few bits of post-fire “art” in so many different forms. There they are, embracing the work involved in getting the Arts Precinct up and established, sourcing materials, planning art and craft classes for kids and adults, broadening their network to include existing and new art-form groups, preparing submissions to get grants for individual and community projects, and welcoming with open arms and big smiles anyone who wants to join. Work Engines….

Take Belly Dancing. One morning a couple of months ago I had ordered my first coffee just as the Belly Dancing Classes were being talked about. The idea came from the Arts Work Engine. By the time my coffee had arrived, they had produced a Teacher, a basic initial financial plan, had organized a date, a venue, adequate insurance cover and a shopping expedition for basic requirements. And there was still coffee in my mug.! Within a fortnight there were more than 25 expressions of interest. Within a month the classes had started. I was one of the 28 people at the first Belly Dancing lesson – and the Hall radiated fun, happiness and laughter. One only has to look back on Louise Reed’s lovely article in the previous Flyer to know what a success this on-going project has been.) Mmm…Work Engines…

Take the Youth Group. After years of hard and often lonely work on the part of Vicky and a hand full of friends, the Youth Group is now a vital and exciting part of life for many of our young people. From its humble beginnings, the Youth Group now has a complete programme for teenagers, (thanks Vicky and John) for primary aged kids (thanks Tanya and Rod and friends) and, through Playgroup for the teeny-weeny kids (thanks Louise and friends). How beautiful is it to see that Vicky’s hard work over so many years is now being fully supported and upheld. Work Engines….

Everywhere I look there are work engines - for Fire Safety, for Environment, for the building of the new Community House, for the Hall, for Transport, for the myriad of Community House projects, for the Mens Shed. I could go on and on. Could it be that I was wrong about work engines?

Could it be that work engines empower people? Could it be that work engines allow people to contribute and develop their skills and ideas? Could it be that work engines create and strengthen friendships? Could it be that “work”, when done with like-minded and positive people, becomes fun?

Mmm…think I’ll go out and join a few work engines. I have a lot to choose from.

By Annie Robertson

BTW .. we are looking to set up a work engine about renewable energy let me know if you have interest (Pete)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Arts Donation Giveaway Setup for the Day

Volunteers are need on Saturday 22nd May at Recreation Reserve from 11am to help setup displays of art work being given away to people who have lost their homes in the Flowerdale/Hazeldene area.
If you are able to assist please contact Sharon Collins, Convenor Arts Work Engine, 04222748662.
Please pass onto anyone else who maybe interested in helping with setup.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

More on the Organics Forum

So there we were, Lachie and I, standing in the unexpectedly welcome shade of gums, liquid-ambers and golden ashes. There we were looking across manicured gardens leading out to a rock-beached, dam shimmering in gentle morning sunshine, the Valley of A Thousand Hills as the back-drop. This tranquility was our welcome to the first Flowerdale Organics Workshop.

I loved this day. There were 40 very keen and committed participants from Flowerdale and Strath Creek who, through their Land Care and Junior Land Care Groups, work closely with Flowerdale. The whole Flowerdale Valley was represented with interest coming from people on small ¼ acre holdings up to larger acreages.

The always busy John Burgess welcomed us and introduced each guest. Airlie Worrall from the VFF acknowledged the importance of organic agriculture and threw the weight of their support behind the day. There was a great power-point presentation on the workings of CERES, prepared by Pete Auty – so inspiring to see how far this project has come since its humble beginnings. Pete was followed by Rowena and Owen from RDV who gave us an overview of Future Farming Strategies, and outlined the processes involved in certification. Alecksy, also from RDV gave us an insight into the importance of knowing annual rainfalls, water needs, water harvesting, water pumping rights etc in relation to the type of organic agriculture being attempted. He also explained the concept of soil profile to improve water efficiently.

We were treated to a demonstration of soil testing by Gerhard Gesser. (Of course not everyone gets excited about dirt.!!! I have many friends who would roll their eyes in disbelief that I could be thrilled to witness a soil test, but I’ll tough out the ridicule.) Gerhard knew lots about soil and compost and shared some very interesting information with us.

It’s no good having a great product unless there is a market for it. So Wayne spent some time giving us the big reality check, and explaining how important “supply chains” are to the organics project. He outlined many options which need to be carefully considered and planned to make the venture successful.

To end the day, Mandy and Ian McLaren from Yapunyah, near Greytown Vic gave us the benefit of their experience as people working towards eventually becoming Certified Organic Gardeners. We got to see some great pictures of their property, to hear about their personal highs and lows, and to meet their cute little son.

It was a day where we could ask lots of questions. It was a day when we could meet new people and strengthen & broaden networks. It was a day when we could take home our dreams and ideas and explore their possibilities. It was a day when we could enjoy the excellent hospitality, delightful staff, delicious food and serene environment of the Flowerdale Estate.

A lot of people couldn’t get to the workshop for different reasons, but I’m sure everyone who could attend would be happy to share the information and lessons we learned.

For me it was a great day, and Lachie had lots of fun too. I love the concept that, some time in the future, our dreams and ideas can become reality and help to bring a little more employment and prosperity to our own community.

Annie Robertson & Lachie Hunter

Sunday, May 2, 2010

More on the Sustainabilty grant

Our friends at Green Cross Australia have writtn a comprehensive piece on the recent sustainability grant announced in Flowerdale

The video below was recorded on the day.

Mara Bun and her team have worked tirelessly to bring their skills and knowledge gained from working in disasters like Hurricane Katrina to the Bushfire Recovery and a major thanks to Green Cross for what they have done to date.