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1st Anniversary of Black Saturday


Remember the Fallen

Respect the Survivors

Rebuild the Community

May We Never Have to Go Through An Event Like This Again.

Please Stay Safe, Take Care, And Look After Your Loved Ones Today.


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Carlton Football Club visit Kinglake Village

Over the last few days, the Carlton Football Club has been busy with its 2010 Community Camp.  On Wednesday 3 February the Team visited a number of local Primary Schools, including Flowerdale, the 3 schools in Kinglake, and others in the area, before enjoying a well-attended community dinner at the Yarra Glen Racecourse.

Today they arrived at the Kinglake Village, and went for a walk around to warmly meet & greet some of the Village residents and then signed autographs before heading on foot down the main street and visiting some of the shops.  They certainly helped lift some spirits on what was a bit of a grey and drizzly day in Kinglake.
Other visits today will include Monda Lodge Hostel, Healesville & District Hospital and Homewood Aged Care.

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Official Launch of Kinglake Ranges Radio 94.5FM

11 Months after its initial inception Kinglake Ranges Radio 94.5FM had its official launch.

Digitaries including Christine Nixon – VBRRA Chair, Federal Member Hon. Fran Bailey MP, Federal member Bill Shorten MP, Mayor Peter Beales, Representatives of ABC Radio and Radio UGFM, Sponsors and Donators from FRRR, Rotary and Bendigo Bank, mixed with the Kinglake Ranges Community to hear members of the Kinglake Ranges Radio Team tell the story from it’s inception to it’s birth.

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Darren Lunny Documentary – 1 Year On


February 7, 2009. The record books will forever call it Black Saturday; a day when Australia’s worst ever natural disaster unfolded. Almost 400 bushfires raged across Victoria and ultimately claimed the lives of 173 people including 23 children.
This unprecedented catastrophe brought a nation to its knees with stories of death and destruction; of desperation and frustration. It’s also become synonymous with stories of hope and resilience; of bravery and unparalleled mateship. It has brought towns and communities closer together; forged ties between people that may not have otherwise been achievable; and set challenges for governments to ensure we never again see another Black Saturday.
Black Saturday – One Year On is a four part documentary seen through the eyes of survivors; their battle to recover; the challenges they’ve faced along the way and what the future holds for them.
The hardest part about making these films was not convincing survivors to recount their stories; it was ensuring we did their stories justice. I hope we’ve succeeded.

The People

The Recovery

The Challenges

The Future

Source:  Darren Lunny Documentary

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7 February Anniversary – Questions & Answers

We have recieved a number of questions in regards to the format of the Anniversary event being held on Sunday 7February 201.  In an effort to ensure that the community has as much information as possible we have listed each of these questions with an answer.

The format of the day is in alignment with the Community meetings that have been held, which includes the bereavement service at 1:00 for all those that feel a need to attend personally or in support of those bereaved. This will be totally closed to the media even though they will certainly be on the site.

At 5:00 (arrivals from 3:30) will be the community remembrance service (MC Christine Nixon) which includes welcome to country (Joy Murphy), reflective address (Lt. Col. Craig Madden), a song (Cam Tapp), a thankyou (guard of honour and giant thank you) and then a picnic.

Q. How was it decided who would be in the guard of honour?
A. Community feedback was that we should honour our local emergency serves so CFA, SES, CERT, Police and Parks DSE are included. It was also identified that many organisations from outside of our community came in and have provided incredible support. As a result many human services and infrastructure support organisations (paid or unpaid) have been included. The focus is on our emergency services and those that came in to help us from the outside.  Local individuals, community groups and businesses will be acknowledged in the body of the service and a number of volunteer recognition events are on the calendar in the near term.

Q. Who is expected to go to the 1:00 bereavement service?
A. Anyone who believes they need to go for themselves or in support of the bereaved. No one needs an invitation, just a genuine need.  This service is expect to be totally inaccessible to the media.

Q. Why wasn’t the 1:00 bereavement service advertised?
A. Media management was the key driver behind this decision.

Q. How were the speakers chosen?
A. Our clear guidance was that we did not want locals to be put in the very difficult position of speaking on this day. The guidance was equally clear not to have a politician or religious leader but rather to find people external to the community but who had intimate experience of and empathy for our community.

Q. How do we know that everyone is aware of the day?
A. We don’t. We have made every effort however with the Australian Centre for Grief & Bereavement and the Coroners Office contacting all known bereaved families. Mountain Monthly, Radio, Kinglake Ranges News and other websites, emails, signs and word of mouth are doing as best they can. ALL mail redirections were posted page five from the Mountain Monthly some ten days before the MM was available on the streets.

Q. Will the media be there?
A. Yes they will be outside the football ground boundary fence. There will be a designated media area. Those that wish to interact with the media can go to that area. It is the intention that no media person will be permitted to enter onto the football ground turf. As early as today, media are in town. ABC radio and TV and Fox FM will be broadcasting from Kinglake township.

Q. What will happen with the giant Thank You we all form?
A. An ABC helicopter and photographer will be taking aerial photographs ON OUR BEHALF and will be distributing our thank you to media outlets moments after having taken them.

Q. Will there be entertainment, is it a party?
A. No and No. There will be one song during the service, "Lest We Forget"  performed by Cam Tapp and the Middle Primary kids. For the last hour only (7:00 – 8:00) there will be quiet minimally amplified music by some local artists within the marquee.  There will be an area where some storytelling and the Clown Doctors will be available to keep the littlies engaged.

Q. Will there be food?
A. Yes there will be a basic BBQ, water and soft drinks provided at no charge.

Q. Will there be parking?
A. Yes there is organised parking and also a shuttle bus running all day from the Business Centre and the KL West oval.

Q. Will there be supporting services?
A. Yes there will be first aid and counsellors available.

Q. Will there be a printed program?
A. Yes there will be a program.

Q. Is this a low key event?
A. Yes. It is some words of reflection, a song, a thank you and a picnic.

Q. Should the Community be proud of this day?
A. Yes it should. Whilst handling many many other aspects of recovery of which we are all involved we have managed an extensive consultation and development process since November to arrive at the event.

Anniversary Sub-Committee
Colin French, Andrew Ogge, Vicki Ruhr, Rebecca Buchanan

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Rebuilding is Slow and Steady

HUNDREDS of people in the worst-affected zones are committing to rebuild after Black Saturday, new figures show.

But progress is patchy in some areas, and statistics reinforce that it will be many years before the destruction is close to being repaired.

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Town `not ready’ for Black Saturday

CRITICAL warnings to communities in the path of the Black Saturday fires were not provided or were late, there was a lack of planning, preparation and co-ordination and a state of confusion extended "up the chain of command".

In a 42-page submission on the Kilmore East fire, which killed 121 of the 173 people who died on Black Saturday a year ago, counsel assisting the Teague royal commission, Jack Rush QC, said there was "no semblance of readiness for the fire".

Mr Rush said there was broad agreement that the cause of the Kilmore East fire, which spread to and devastated the townships of Strathewen, Flowerdale and Kinglake and the edges of St Andrews, was a conductor failure between poles 38 and 39 on the Pentadeen Spur Line at 11.47am on February 7 last year.

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Innovative decentralised sewerage solution for Kinglake West

Yarra Valley Water (YVW) recently awarded Innoflow Australia/Orenco Systems with the contract to supply interceptor tanks and effluent filtration/pump packages for the first known community septic tank effluent pumped (STEP) wastewater collection system in Australia, for the Kinglake West Sewerage project.

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Innovative decentralised sewerage solution for Kinglake West

Yarra Valley Water (YVW) recently awarded Innoflow Australia/Orenco Systems with the contract to supply interceptor tanks and effluent filtration/pump packages for the first known community septic tank effluent pumped (STEP) wastewater collection system in Australia, for the Kinglake West Sewerage project.

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Chef offers comfort food for Kinglake centre

A MELBOURNE chef who volunteered his time in the kitchen of a Kinglake relief centre last year has reproduced the meals he cooked for bushfire survivors in a recipe book for charity.

Kinglake Cookbook: Recipes from the Relief Centre, collates 50 home cooked meals prepared by award-winning chef Chris Owen for Kinglake residents following the Black Saturday fires.  All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Kinglake and Kinglake West CFAs.

Mr Owen said the idea for the cookbook stemmed out of simple recipe requests from Kinglake residents.  “A lot of the residents were asking for the recipes to things I was making,” he said.  “I had been thinking about writing a cookbook prior to the fires and I thought if I can write something not for me, but to help others that would be great.”

The cookbook covers what food means to the former Port Melbourne chef as well as his observations on what it had meant to bushfire survivors.

“Food was able to bring the community back together,” he said. “I found the relief centre wasn’t just about the meal; it was a place where people could chat.  You should never underestimate the power of a hot meal.”

Kinglake Cookbook: Recipes from the Relief Centre is available from for $20.

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Power lines to blame for worst bushfires

THE Royal Commission into Black Saturday has officially blamed power lines for starting the nation’s deadliest blaze.

And the company responsible for those power lines does not want any adverse findings against the man who last inspected the lines.

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Murrindindi Council Will Begin Fining Residents for Infringement of the MSC Fire Precvention Policy

Murrindindi Shire Council will be fining residents who do not comply with the Shire Fire Prevention Policy.  The Following details were taken from the Murrindindi Shire Council Ordinary Meeting Minutes of 27 January 2010


6.1.3 Issuing of Fire Prevention Infringement Notices for 2009/10 Fire Season

File No: 22/05/05
Addendum report as presented.


For Council to consider the issuing of Fire Prevention Infringement Notices for the 2009/2010 fire season.


That Council withhold / not withhold the issuing of fire prevention infringement notices in the Murrindindi Shire for the 2009/10 fire season.

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Pheasant Creek Road Area, Pheasant Creek Development Plan


Editors Note:  The following was taken directly from the Murrindindi Shire Council Ordinary Meeting Minutes of 27 January 2010

6.1.2 Pheasant Creek Road Area, Pheasant Creek Development Plan

File No: 58/07/12-11
Attachments: Development plan attached, submissions separately given to Councillors


This report recommends that Council approve the Pheasant Creek Road Area, Pheasant Creek Development Plan.


That Murrindindi Shire Council approves the Pheasant Creek Road Area, Pheasant Creek Development Plan as a development plan under Clause 43.04, Development Plan Overlay, of the Murrindindi Planning Scheme with the following amendment:

  1. Amendment of the plan to include recommendations outlined in the submissions set out in this report.

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Mayor’s Chair – 2 February 2010


Council held its first formal meeting for 2010 on 27 January with considerable public input during the Open Forum session. It is very pleasing to see the start of the year commence in this fashion

At it’s meeting, the council resolved to approve a planning permit for the Kinglake West General store after giving consideration to objections. Council also resolved to extend the hours of certain Council facilities such as libraries and swimming pools on days of significant fire danger. The intention is not to make these facilities available for refuge but to extend the availability of recreational services for those who have chosen to come to a larger town on these days.

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Black Saturday 1st Anniversary

As the anniversary of Black Saturday nears it is time for us all to pause and reflect. Many of us had some connection to people and places that were devastated by the biggest disaster in Australia’s history. The fire has impacted on people in many different ways. We remember those who lost their lives and think about those who have suffered the pain of losing loved ones. We remember those whose lives have been scarred physically, mentally and emotionally by the tragedy as well as the people who have been displaced and are trying to get their lives back together. We will take the time to learn from our mistakes before, during and after the fires. We also remember the wonderful people who have been so generous with their time and resources to provide assistance to survivors. I regularly meet people who have dedicated their lives to assisting with an aspect of a community’s recovery at a significant financial cost to themselves.

The important thing though is that we remember the survivors, maintain our focus on rebuilding their communities and assist people with their recovery for as long as they require it.

Ben Hardman

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Federal Parliament Remembers Black Saturday

Speech by the Hon Fran Bailey MP – 4 February 2010

This weekend our nation will pause and it will refl ect and it will honour the 173 men, women and children who lost their lives a year ago on Black Saturday.
This weekend will be a particularly tough weekend for many of the communities in my electorate. We still have large numbers of people who are very severely traumatised.

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Healthy Schools Get a Boost


STUDENTS at local primary schools will enjoy getting active and healthy with the assistance of Brumby Government grants.

The Member for Seymour, Ben Hardman, said the schools at Highlands, Alexandra, Marysville, Middle Kinglake, Wallan and Strathewen were among 173 Victorian government schools with primary students receiving Healthy Start grants this year.

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Black Saturday: One Year On

One year on from Black Saturday, bushfire-affected communities are entitled to rate the Brumby Government’s response as high on spin and “events” but sadly low on action.

  • One year on, there is no effective and ongoing fuel reduction program to provide communities with any degree of comfort.
  • One year on, there are no safe havens at schools in fire-prone areas.
  • One year on, many local communities do not have designated Neighbourhood Safer Places.
  • One year on, the CFA website continues to provide inaccurate and out-of-date information on fires.
  • One year on, Victoria remains without an adequate and efficient telephone warning system when West Australia’s already-tested technology could be introduced.
  • One year on, the Government’s Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority has morphed into yet another bureaucracy that has become an obstacle to rebuilding, delaying and thwarting community plans for their towns.
  • One year on, promised new schools at Marysville and Strathewen have not materialised from the pretty pictures trotted out by the Premier.
  • One year on, barely 10 per cent of homes in Marysville are beginning to be rebuilt.
  • One year on, residents cannot buy petrol in Kinglake.
  • One year on, the Government  and VBRRA have no incentive for investment in business and economic development of bushfire-affected communities and the creation of local jobs.
  • One year on, there are insufficient health support services in the communities.

“The majority of progress in the bushfire-affected communities is due to the persistence and determination of local people,” member for McEwen Fran Bailey said.  “The best way forward is for the Government-imposed bureaucracy to be replaced with skilled local people on boards independent of government.  Otherwise, two years on from Black Saturday,  the anger and frustration in our communities will be greater.”

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Kinglake National Park witnesses new life

WILDLIFE is slowly returning to bushfire-affected areas as trees and plants damaged by the fires regenerate.  Rangers in Kinglake National Park last week spotted the first koala in the park since Black Saturday.

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Letter to the Editor – Message of Support from Canberra Bushfire Survivors

The first anniversary of the bushfires is going to be tough. That’s what we found after the 2003 Canberra bushfires. The adrenalin that we had been running on was beginning to run out and all the plans we had made for the future seemed slow or bogged down in paperwork and logistics. It was a whole year and yet sometimes we felt we had not come very far.

Time brings frustrations but it also brings healing. Things do get better.

Please know that as you mark the first anniversary of that devastating day, our thoughts are with you.
The Singed Sisters, Canberra.

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Letter to the Editor – Thank-you to the KRCRC

Dear Editor,

As we get closer and closer to the anniversary of a day that changed our community forever, I am becoming more and more concerned with the people within.

The tension in the air is clearly being felt by many, and for some this is manifesting itself into outbursts of negative and unhealthy accusations.  Even more concerning is that these outbursts seem to be directed primarily at the Kinglake Ranges Community Recovery Committee (KRCRC).  This group of volunteers, who have been working tirelessly for our community since they were originally elected and formed in April 2009, deserve nothing but our thanks and our respect.

At a recent Public Meeting held by the KRCRC I was disgusted to see a well known community member say that if the community does not get what it deserves “then the CRC will be lynched”!  The selfishness of this statement astounded me.

The KRCRC is a group of volunteers who are working on behalf of this community, I am sure that they are often asked to do difficult things, maybe even un-popular things that certain people in our community will use to bring them down.  They have never asked for recompense, they have never asked for praise.

We as a community need to start recognising all the hard work they are doing and will continue to do.

We need to ask how can we help?

And we need to say thank-you.


[Name and Email Supplied]

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Exceptional Leader Required Chief Executive Officer Shire of Murrindindi

The Shire of Murrindindi, located 90 minutes from the Melbourne metropolitan fringe, has a diverse community within its nearly 4000 square kilometre area.

The Murrindindi fire of February 2009 was devastating, causing a significant loss of life and destroying or damaging in excess of 1400 properties. The impact of the fire on the community and the rebuild continue to pose significant challenges.
At this critical time Council is seeking to appoint an exceptional Chief Executive Officer who is a proven leader with sound management and highly developed communication skills. The CEO must possess the capability of ensuring the ‘big picture perspective’ of Murrindindi is integrated into both the bushfire recovery challenge and the continued growth of the Shire. The new CEO will have demonstrated experience in managing change and will be capable of building effective relationships with multiple community stakeholders and managing their often competing interests as well as working in productive partnerships with various government agencies.

Applicants with the proven ability to support the community while maximising economic development within the Shire will be highly regarded. In addition, an understanding of the governance and political challenges facing local government is essential.
The role provides an opportunity to foster and embed an effective service culture in Council’s dedicated staff.

The position will be offered on the basis of a performance based contract of three years with a very attractive salary package, circa $280,000 per annum.

Applications should be sent to or mailed to Alison Lyon, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Municipal Association of Victoria, GPO Box 4326 Melbourne 3001, marked ‘Private & Confidential – Murrindindi Shire CEO’ and received by 4pm Friday 19 February 2010. A position description is available from Kimberley Stillwell, 03 9667 5528

For further information regarding the position contact Alison Lyon on 03 9667 5522.


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Black Saturday Anniversary Events

Victorian Bushfires: A Remembrance Service

The Victorian Council of Churches and Chair of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority invites all Victorians to a service being held to remember the people and communities impacted by the Victorian bushfires of early 2009.
11.45am for 12 Noon sharp, Sunday 7 February at St. Paul’s Cathedral, corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets, Melbourne.
The service is timed to show support for recovering communities who will also be reflecting in their own way at local events.

Kinglake Ranges Community Remembrance Service

5pm at the Kinglake Football Ground (arrive from 3.30pm).
The service will include:

  • Words of reflection.
  • A minutes silence.
  • Release of butterflies for those that died.
  • A performance of “Lest We Forget” with Cam Tapp.
  • A Guard of Honour for those that helped us.

Community members can help form a giant “Thank You” for aerial photographs as a means of conveying out thanks and gratitude to the nation. There will be a Picnic Dinner, and light live music. The Oval will be closed at 8pm.

  • A basic BBQ will be offered free of charge.
  • Shuttle buses will be provided from behind the Kinglake West Mechanics Institute and in front of the Kinglake Business Centre from 3.30pm, and after the close of the event. Disabled parking area will be signed on the day.
  • Families of the bereaved should contact the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement for additional details regarding the event. Ph. 9265 2111.

Kinglake West

The Kinglake West Mechanics Institute and Reserves Committee will be opening the entrance gate to the “Garden of Reflection”, unveiling/commissioning of the Kinglake West CFA Memorial Bell, and putting on display the plans for the completed “Garden of Reflection” at 4pm on the reserve. All are welcome to attend.


11am Community gathering for a short ecumenical service, followed by an informal BYO picnic with live background music for those that wish to stay on.


Community gathering at the CJ Dennis Hall. 11.45am light refreshments, 12pm Big Screen broadcast of the State Service, followed at 1pm by a reflective community service. Live background music provided by Global Care, and a gourmet luncheon provided by Wantirna Rotary.

Church Services

St Peter’s Anglican Church

St Peter’s WW1 Memorial Church Kinglake invites you to join us for a special service on the first anniversary of Black Saturday at 5pm, at our temporary Chapel (Cnr Whittlesea-Kinglake/Bald Spur Roads, Kinglake).
For information: 9716 2042 or

St Marys Catholic Church

Main Road, Kinglake. 8.30am Sunday Mass (usual service), with recognition of the difficult year that has gone.

Kinglake West Uniting Church

Remembrance Service on Sunday 7 February at 10am.
A warm welcome for all to join with us on this very important day. A special service to reflect on the last year.
Open Church from 11am – all welcome to come and talk or sit in quiet and join with others. Refreshments provided.
1050 Main Road, Kinglake West (Opposite Primary School)

Combined Christian Churches of Whittlesea/Kinglake

Black Saturday Anniversary Reflection, Support and Prayer Service Sunday 7 February at 6.30pm, commencing with light refreshments.
Service begins at 7pm, which will include reflective music, and a time of sharing/testimonies/prayer.
Venue: New Horizons Church 28 Forest Street, Whittlesea. All welcome – for more information contact Churches on Church 9716 3337.

Campfire Church (Castella/Toolangi Home Group)

10am Time of reflection and meditation, some scripture readings, songs and sharing time. 21 Campbells Creek Road, Castella – contact Jack 5962 9363.

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Blokes Banging Drums


Get Together and learn some basic drumming techniques with some locals using West African style djembe drums.  This program is designed for blokes with little or no experience.

  • When:  Thursday Nights
  • Where:  Flowerdale Hall
  • No Cost – Drums Supplied

Ya don’t know till ya give it a go – come along & try it out

For more information or to register contact Phil Bourne 03 5793 8257 or

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Animal Behaviour Workshop

RSPCA is proud to sponsor an animal behavior workshop that will be specifically designed for animal behavior issues.
This workshop will be run by local vet Dr Kate Murray in conjunction with Dr Debbie Calnon – an animal behavior specialist – in response to the increasing and ongoing number of behavioral issues being experienced by animals after the February 2009 fires.
Numbers will be limited to 10 people per workshop to enable all participants the chance to ask about their specific issue being experienced by their animal.
Some examples of issues that will be discussed will be

  • noise sensitivity
  • separation anxiety
  • eating disorders
  • excessive barking
  • discipline issues

Dr Debbie Calnon is a regular presenter to vets, vet nurses, dog trainers and various community groups in Victoria and other Australian States, on many aspects of dog and cat behaviour. Debbie also has regular Behaviour Consultancies to the RSPCA in Melbourne and the US based Veterinary Information Network.
Bookings are essential as seats are limited.

  • Venue : Mountain Ranges Vet Clinic
  • Shop 1/31
  • Whittlesea-Kinglake Road
  • Date: 24th February 2010
  • Time: 7.00pm —8.30pm

RSVP to Mountain Ranges Vet clinic by 19th Februar y 2010 Phone 5786 1777

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