The St Andrews Community Bushfire Recovery Association committee continue to meet on a fortnightly basis with project groups meeting more frequently.
The Events group are currently meeting twice a week in the General Store to bring to fruition a large community celebration planned for the 19th of September. Led by Amber Dixon, the group has attracted many local volunteers who have been involved in the planning of large community events in the past.
The celebration, "Burnt but Not Beaten! – St Andrews Reunites”, will provide an opportunity for a day of entertainment, workshops, wellness retreats, and great food and drink, while the evening will highlight local talent with music, comedy and drama. Refreshments will be available throughout the evening. This day of celebration and demonstration of resilience will be free to all association members. (Another great reason to join!)
The Memorial group continue to evaluate, along with council, appropriate sites for a memorial to the bush fire victims. This site needs to meet a range of criteria, including providing a place for quite reflection. Some sites have already been considered and one in particular has been rejected as a site that meets the criteria set by memorial group which is headed by Elizabeth Kooroonya Savage. The site at 87 Burn St, St Andrews (the site next to the bakery and across the road from the market) is no longer under consideration as a potential location for a memorial. Other, more suitable sites are still being evaluated.
Continuing to gain momentum is the Building group. Combined representation from both St Andrews and Strathewen gives this group the capacity for greater impact on the rebuilding of both towns. A series of workshops are planned to be run in quick succession over the coming weeks. Topics will include Panning requirements, Power Options, Health Considerations, Owner Builder Requirements and Obligations and Material Choices. These workshops will draw from the experience of local experts and invite others to contribute to the knowledge pool.
The first workshop will be held at the St Andrews Community Hall on the 29th of July. Starting at 7:30 with supper provided, the workshop will highlight the implications of BAL ratings on properties where rebuilding is planned. In addition questions will be answered by a range of experts including builders, engineers, land surveyors and building designers. Make sure that you are there if you are considering rebuilding.
The Gardening group is establishing networks with gardening groups outside the area to grow and care for plants to be transplanted into the burnt areas of St Andrews over time. Carmen Jansen is also talking to growers to establish a directory of growers and suppliers who are keen to support the recovery with discounts and specials on plants and gardening equipment.
The next SACBRA Committee meeting will be held on the 3rd of August. Volunteers are still needed to provide knowledge and assistance in this massive rebuilding effort. If you would like to contribute your skills or time please contact one of the committee members.