Share and Follow
“From our house all the way down the street, seven houses in a row we were all completely devastated,” Susan Alexander told SBS News.
“I remember telling my daughter that everything she had, her home was gone.”
Last week, the , recognising the risks a changing climate poses to people’s physical and mental well-being.
“It really unsettles people, they go through questions of should I stay, should I go, are there ways to make this safe.”
“I wasn’t there — your mind and your brain has such an ability to put you places that you don’t want to be, it’s so important to have a community you can talk to.”
“It’s a nice quiet part of the world, everyone comes out here because they like their peace and quiet, which is great, but not in an emergency.”
ABCD Inc. holds community events, advocates for the townships and connects locals through an email mailing list and a newsletter.
“So it became really important for me for us to be there for other people so we could actually help them.”
Sally Gillespie says community resilience is important.
“What I hear from bushfire survivors, flood survivors, is a lot of people coming into the area, doing a lot of talking and not much listening.”
“I think community centres play an essential part in connecting the community, in building and sustaining a resilient and strong community and just for people’s mental health and well-being,” North Richmond Community Centre manager Birgit Walter told SBS News.
Local resident Stephanie Hanekom attends the centre’s Cafe Connections each week.
“Once there’s bushfires happening or bushfire weather, the anxiety starts to rise — and people understand because we’ve all been through it.”
A problem faced on your own can feel insurmountable, but together it’s a problem shared.
Kat Boeingher, Dargan resident
“We came down and made some good acquaintances and friends, which are people that we can in the future when there’s more, hopefully not too many big issues and big problems we can reach out and help, and maybe even be helped ourselves,” local resident David Cullen said.
His wife Beverley agrees.