Walwa Bush Fire Recovery

Our committee

The Walwa Community Recovery Committee was established to facilitate bushfire recovery and build community capacity and resilience for the residents of Walwa and surrounding district (Walwa/Guys Forest/Mt Alfred/Burrowye/Pine Mountain).

Our purpose is to advocate for our community, help other existing community groups and organisations to formalise community priorities, achieve funding and project goals, oversee the community recovery and support recovery efforts for our community.

Our members

  • Janice Newnham (Chair) – Jingellic Hub (Treasurer) Upper Murray Community Recovery Committee representative and an interest in Walwa Cemetery Trust and Walwa Recovery Centre management
  • Donna Greenhill (Deputy Chair) – an interest in Walwa Recovery Centre management
  • Heidi Conway – Walwa Riverside Caravan Park Lessee
  • Hayden Drummond – Burrowye CFA, Walwa Cemetery Trust, Walwa Golf Club, WBNC Board of Management
  • David Hanna – Walwa CFA, Walwa Memorial Hall Committee, Walwa Medical Trust, member of Walwa Jingellic Lions Club
  • Sandi Grieve – Walwa Bush Nursing Centre CEO and NP, Interested in Riverside Units, CERT, and Radio Upper Murray
  • Steve Lynch – Walwa Primary School Principal, member of Walwa Jingellic Lions Club
  • Helen Marshall – has an interest in Walwa Recovery Centre management
  • Simon McKenzie – Victoria Police
  • Karlee McKenzie McHarg – Walwa Community Shop, Walwa Memorial Hall Committee, Walwa Community Support Group
  • Sara Jenkins – Corryong Neighbourhood Centre
  • Marshall Tuck – Walwa Bush Nursing Centre RN
  • Chris Wood – Burrowy CFA, Border Walwa Football Club (currently in recess) and an interest in Walwa Recovery Centre management

Our progress

Since forming in June 2020 with 13 initial members, we have achieved various recovery outcomes, including:

  • Adopted a Terms of Reference
  • Established a Facebook page and a recovery email address
  • Delivered a significant community consultation survey to ascertain the recovery needs and aspirations of community members
  • Identified the priority projects of local groups and organisations
  • Hosted BlazeAid at the Walwa Recreation Reserve and assisted in their day-to-day operations
  • Published two community recovery newsletters
  • Had an independent structural assessment completed on the Memorial Hall
  • Applied for a Local Economic Recovery grant of $473,838 to upgrade the hall utilities and standalone emergency autonomy for refuge functions, and for increased functional capacity.
  • Successfully advocated for a part-time Recovery Hub presence operating from the Bush Nursing Hospital
  • Organised a community get together on 29 November in conjunction with a fire preparedness event
  • Helped a number of community organisations apply for and successfully obtain a Towong Shire Community Recovery Grant, including a bird hide at the primary school, a fish cleaning station and drainage works at the golf club.
  • Assisted the Bush Nursing Centre successfully obtained funding for a new generator for the Centre
  • Initiated discussions with CFA to relocate the Walwa CFA shed
  • Reactivated the plans to construct a walking track from Walwa to Jingellic and from Walwa township to the Walwa Caravan Park
  • Strengthened relationships with the Jingellic community through cross membership on both committees
  • NBN connected at the Recreation Reserve

Our mission

  • Provide advocacy on behalf of our community in relation to recovery, support and resilience
  • Assist other community groups with their goals of completing projects which have long been on the back burner
  • Take the lead to achieve community projects (infrastructure and support)

Our recovery priorities

  • Create and resource a Disaster Plan for Walwa and District and integrate with the Municipal Emergency Plan
  • Collaborate with other organisations (eg Jingellic Hub Committee) to create and support community events to encourage social cohesion and alleviate stress post coronavirus restrictions
  • Support activities and organisations which extend assistance to community members at an individual level (eg BlazeAid and Gateway Mental Health)
  • Relocate the CFA fire shed to the Walwa Recreation Reserve
  • Upgrade Walwa Memorial Hall
  • Upgrade amenities at the Walwa Cemetery
  • Improve physical activity opportunities including walking paths and playground equipment
  • Improve emergency response, relief and recovery facilities
  • Improve road and pedestrian safety
  • Construct accommodation to support medical staff
  • Upgrade recreation and tourism facilities
  • Improve facilities at the Walwa Primary School
  • Preserve, improve and repair the Guys Forest Recreation Reserve
  • Implement artworks that acknowledge and commemorative our fire event and recovery experiences