Forgotten Friday

Volunteer Stewart Earwicker gets to work at the Tonimbuk Fire Recovery Centre last week, with some 300 people still in need of assistance.

Volunteer Stewart Earwicker gets to work at the Tonimbuk Fire Recovery Centre last week, with some 300 people still in need of assistance.

Relief volunteers are still in need of help, two months on from the fire that devastated parts of Tynong, Tonimbuk and Bunyip.

Volunteers are calling the disaster on March 1 “Forgotten Friday” and they estimate 300 people are still in need of assistance.

Clearing fallen trees and fence lines, fixing garden beds and repairing sheds are just some of the things that need to be done.

The Tonimbuk Fire Recovery Centre provides food, clothing and some counselling support to those effected by the fire. The Centre is a hub for volunteers from local Lions, Rotary clubs as well as support from St Vincent de Paul, the Red Cross and counselling services.

They have also received assistance from a Taiwan-based Buddhist foundation.

Much of centre’s support comes from four-wheel-drive groups, who travel from across the state to lend a hand, helping fire-affected residents clear fence lines of leaf litter and metal debris.

“The look on their face when we leave is sensational,” says Eric Bishop, who coordinates the many four-wheel-drive groups that come to the area to help.

“You can’t buy that type of appreciation,” he says.


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