2018 Media Releases

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Funding on offer to commemorate 10-year anniversary of Black Saturday bushfires

Friday 6 July, 2018

Community groups organising events or activities to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires are encouraged to apply for local grants.  

The Black Saturday bushfires took hold on Saturday 7 February 2009 and are regarded as Australia’s worst bushfire disaster, claiming the lives of 173 people, including some locals.  

To mark the 10-year anniversary of the fires, which is less than seven months away, Mitchell Shire Council and Mitchell Community Resources and Advocacy (MCRAG) Community Foundation are facilitating a new grants program.  

Grants are available for community groups to run a community event or activity in 2019 to commemorate the fires.  

Events could include anything from community barbeques or photography/art exhibitions to large scale commemorative or reflection events. 

MCRAG Executive Officer Sarah Matthews said the grants would assist in funding remembrance events and welcomed further discussion with community members or groups on the potential of collaborating for a unified approach.  

“Working in partnership with Mitchell Shire Council will ensure a coordinated and inclusive approach to such important projects and also provide further resources to enable these events and programs to operate in a cohesive and supported manner,” Ms Matthews said.  

Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said commemorating the fires each year was an important way for people to reflect and remember those members of the community who lost their lives.  

“The Black Saturday bushfires had such a significant impact on so many communities, including Mitchell, and its impact is still being felt strongly today,” Cr Sanderson said. 

“Commemorating the fires is an important way for our community to remember and acknowledge their family, friends, neighbours or colleagues who were severely impacted by the fires and it is a time where we all come together and reflect. 

“We understand that some people want to come together to mark the occasion and we've partnered with MCRAG to help support groups who want to hold events that are special and meaningful to them and the wider community.”  

The grants are funded through the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, which was established after the fires and now helps facilitate long-term recovery projects. 

To apply for a grant, click HERE. Applications open on Monday 9 July and close at midnight on 31 August 2018.   

For more information, please contact Sarah Matthews at the MCRAG Community Foundation on 0475 738 545 or sarahm@mcrag.net.