Support for 2009 bushfire commemorations
THE Victorian Government will give communities a chance to commemorate 10 years since the Black Saturday Bushfires in their own way, with funding to be provided for anniversary activities.
The catastrophic 2009 bushfires devastated the state, with 173 people losing their lives in the tragedy including Mudgegonga husband and wife John and Sue Wilson.
Many more were injured and lost their homes, with the memories of the events still impacting communities to this day.
On Monday, the Labor Government announced $ 4.4 million in funding to support anniversary activities in communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.
The funding will support a state memorial service and a grants program for local community commemoration and creative arts projects.
A range of mental health and psychological services and supports throughout the commemoration period will also be provided.
As part of the commemorations, bushfire- affected communities will be able to collaborate and support each other in remembering the victims of the disaster.
It will also be an opportunity to acknowledge the first responders who bravely served their community during the catastrophe.
Governor of Victoria, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, has been appointed as the Patron for the state’s commemorations of the anniversary.
As Patron, the Governor will visit bushfire affected communities to hear about their challenges and help celebrate their achievements in recovery.
The Government has made additional resources available for support services throughout the anniversary period, including for schools and emergency personnel.
Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino said remembrance events are a way to honour those who died, thank the people who prevented further loss and destruction.
“We look forward to working closely with bushfire- affected communities and local government over the next six months to ensure the commemoration of this time reflects the community’s wishes,” he said.
More information about the 10 year anniversary including grants programs, and details of the State Memorial Service can be found at vic. gov. au/ 2009bushfires.