Eurobodalla Shire residents, businesses and volunteers have shared messages of hope one year after a fire storm crushed the region.
Broulee RFS brigade: Today we have woken to a very different day from this time last year. Last year we woke up to what was one of the most frightening and confusing days of our lives. Regardless of if you were directly affected or if you were worried for those directly affected, each memory and your experience is important. Today we pause to reflect and remember what happened. We should all be thankful for our family, friends and our resilient communities. Be kind to yourself and remember there is no right or wrong way to move on from and event like last year. Individually we go at our own pace. Continue to take time to heal and move forward in your recovery. From our brigade family to yours may 2021 bring many blessings.
Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Club: 12 months to the day the day the sun didn't rise on the Far South Coast. 12 months ago we all watched as our coastal community burned, houses were lost and lives were impacted in ways we couldn't imagine. Today will be a hard day for many of us that were impacted by the Black Summer bushfires as we reflect on the year that's been and the struggles the community still face. You are all in our thoughts and we are sending our love today and everyday. Emotions are still raw, the fear and devastation are still evident, people continue to rebuild and lives will forever be impacted. This disaster has shown how strong and beautiful our coastal community is. We are so thankful that we were able to help in a small way that day and in the coming weeks and months. To be there for our community and stand with them in everyone's time of need. We are proud to be apart of the Far South Coast Branch, with many clubs and members standing up to help in anyway they could. We are thankful for the help, love and compassion shown by clubs within the organisation outside our branch. Those who rallied behind us so we were never alone. We are thankful for the amazing courage shown by our family in other arms of emergency services, the firies, police, ambos, defence force, the water bombing aircraft pilots, who helped protect us for months. You are all heroes and thank you will never be enough. 2020 has demonstrated the perseverance, strength and resilience our beautiful coastal community has. Thank you again to every one of our members who helped and continues to help the community. Your time, passion, commitment, professionalism and the love you've shown is second to none. Bring on 2021 hoping it is a safe, happy and healthy year for all.
Bega MP Andrew Constance: Today is a very sad day as we all reflect on that horrible fire storm 12 months ago. Mentally we will have to live through the pain forever but together we can get there. Happy and safe 2021 everybody.
Batemans Bay SES: 2020 Tested Us Beyond Measure - Community Spirit Shines with Incredible Support. This year has seen unprecedented challenges for all of us. Our Batemans Bay team have attended over 450 callouts, ranging from providing assistance with the RFS during the 2019/2020 Bushfires, to our own storm and flooding events and road crash assistance covering areas from Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven areas. What this year has also provided is Resilence, Endurance and Teamwork within the community and local Emergency Services including NSW SES Moruya, NSW SES Ulladulla, Fire and Rescue NSW Station 217 Batemans Bay. We look forward to working with you in the future. Our gratitude and admiration goes to the NSW Rural Fire Service for their demonstrated bravery during the 2019/2020 bushfires and their continued support of our unit. To our community, THANKYOU for your support and Our Team wishes you a Safe & Wonderful Year Ahead.
Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips: This New Years Eve will be a very difficult time for people on the NSW South Coast. No-one has escaped being impacted by the 2019/2020 bushfires in some way. New Years Eve will be very different this year. Look out for your family, your loved ones, friends, neighbours and people you come across - and seek help if need be. 24/7 Telephone Crisis Support is available: Emergency 000 Lifeline 13 11 14 Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36 Kids Helpline 1800 551 800 NSW Mental Health Helpline 1800 011 511 Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467. 2020 has shown we are stronger together. Here's to a much better 2021.
Club Narooma: Same place, same day, 12 months apart. While we wave goodbye (and good riddance) to 2020, lets all be thankful to waking up today with an overcast sky and not a red one. Happy New Year to all our Members, please be safe, be thankful and most of all be HAPPY!
Eurobodalla Shire Council: Our message is simple, but it comes from the heart. Thank you. To all the emergency services and volunteers who kept us safe, assisted us and supported us as a community, we will be forever grateful. To Australia and the rest of the world, thank you for your messages, donations, love and support. We know 2020 hasn't been a kind year, but from all of us - we wish you a safe and happy 2021.
Mogo Wildlife Park director Chad Staples: Hard to believe it's the same view today compared to this time last year. It's certainly been a year to remember. It would be impossible to forget. All the amazing support, well wishes and prayers from everyone this year has been so appreciated. It has been an absolute privilege to show you all the amazing moments from Mogo Wildlife Park and Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park this year, so much so, we can't wait to do it again in 2021.
Batemans Bay Betta Home Living: On the morning of December 31 2019, we had our very own fireworks display at the Homemaker Centre in Batemans Bay. The Currawong Bushfire tore through our store and others in the Centre, plus hundreds of homes in the Eurobodalla. Throughout 2020, we have been working to rebuild the Homemaker Centre so we can move our Betta store back to where it belongs. We have also been continuing to serve our customers at our temporary store in Kylie Crescent and have stayed open despite COVID-19 and stock shortages. We want to send a huge THANK YOU to all our customers and local businesses that have stuck by us and shopped in our store. We are forever grateful to our suppliers that have supported us this year when we needed them most. Our new store is getting closer to completion and we are very excited for what's to come! With 2021 almost here, we are very happy to put the devastating bushfires and 2020 behind us! We are confident that 2021 will be MUCH better than 2020 and we hope to see you at our Grand Opening of our new store. Keep an eye on our page for more updates over the next few months. Here's to a happier and healthier 2021! Happy New Year!
Far South Coast Surf Life Saving: One year ago our Surf Life Saving club members up and down the Far South Coast stepped in to assist their communities in any way they could as bushfires tore through our region. Providing shelter, first aid, food, water and comfort, SLS volunteers from our own clubs were joined by those from the many clubs visiting for the George Bass Marathon and stepped up in a way that makes us so very proud to be part of the Red and Yellow. Our commitment to our communities is so much more than just between the flags and that was never more evident than 12 months ago. As we get ready to welcome the new year, we reflect on the past 12 months and send our thanks to all who volunteer their time selflessly to step in to assist others in a time of need.
Narooma Surf Club: 12 months ago we all woke to our coastal community burning, houses lost and lives impacted in ways we couldn't imagine. Today will be a hard day for many of us impacted as we reflect on the year that's been and the struggles our community still face. This disaster has shown how strong and beautiful our community is, the love and compassion we show to one another through good times and also the challenging times. We are so thankful that we were able to help in a small way that day, opening our club as an evacuation centre, having clubs here stranded from the George Bass Marathon helping out as well on the day, weeks and months that followed. To be there for our community and stand with them in everyone's time of need. We are proud to be apart of the Far South Coast Branch, with many clubs and members standing up to help in anyway they could. We are thankful for the help, love and compassion shown by clubs within the organisation outside our branch. Those who rallied behind us so we were never alone. We are thankful for the amazing courage shown by our family in other arms of emergency services, the firies, police, ambos, defence force, the water bombing aircraft pilots, who helped protect us for months. You are all heroes and thank you will never be enough. Thank you again to every one of our members who helped and continues to help the community. Your time, passion, commitment, professionalism and the love you've shown is second to none. Bring on 2021. We look forward to seeing you on the sand soon.
Leisa Tague, of Rubenesque Lingerie Batemans Bay: For many, 2020 is a year they can't wait to forget. For me, 2020 will be a year of growth that may not have happened if not for the bushfires and Covid. It was the bushfire that gave me perspective on what is important in life...it's not material things...it's love, health and happiness. It was Covid that made me re-evaluate my employment and work choices. Besides I needed to replace all my lingerie and what better way than to have your own shop. So while 2020 took so much away, it also brought new opportunities and the birth of Rubenesque Lingerie for which I am so grateful to my wonderful hubby Chris for backing me 100% and my daughter Emily who has become a regular in the shop. So farewell 2020 but bring on 2021.
Eurobodalla Home Improvements: As we sat/stuck north watching the blackness and waiting, we received garbled word that our house may be saved. Thanks to our wonderful neighbours. Phew, we had thought that was our only concern. We then sent our parents to the work building with the animals for refuge. A place where there was food, water and so we thought protection. But on their arrival they were met with the first photo. We are not going to lie, receiving the first photo was an intense, sickening moment for both Ainslie and me. The flow of uncertainty, unknown, fear, why, how, all of it flowed through. And most definitely the first few weeks were hectic. However, with the awesome ehi family we overcame and had a wonderful year. But the biggest lessons we have learnt is that although things may get hectic at times you get through it. For us luckily, it was all just stuff and stuff can be replaced! The only thing that ever matters is that we have each other. That's all. And whilst we were riddled with uncertainty after receiving that first photo, 2020 has been unbelievably positive for ehi. We learned, we laughed, we cried, we rebuilt, we got frustrated, we had hope and most importantly we sat in a loving supportive community. We understand this maybe a difficult time for some as we all remember, so we wish you care. We simply say thank you for your support in 2020 and look forward to seeing you for an exciting 2021 and all that it may bring.
Wild2Free Inc. - Kangaroo Sanctuary at Mogo State Forest: One year ago today, Karen and I were standing on the edge of the property on the river. The tide was in and the water deep. I got in to see if we'd be able to wade out and still hold the cat above my head but it was too deep. We were still deciding whether to risk her drowning or cover her behind a rock the fire blanket I had in my backpack. Thankfully Simon came to rescue us and that dreadful decision didn't need to be made. Today I'm thankful the tide was in. It meant the estuary on the western side would have the perfect water height enabling the kangaroos to get in and stand up, hiding in the safety of the water and the mangroves. I know they were there, a couple of them still had mud on them days later. That beautiful estuary is my favourite part of this place. It saved so many lives that day and I'm incredibly grateful and feel so lucky that we have so many survivors of that traumatic event. We're all looking forward to 2021. We've had a lot of rain and the property is buzzing with wildlife, many converging here for the first time, coming from wherever they lived previously, to a place with food, shelter and water. Even with our better conditions, they've decided to stay, breed and live here forever and that suits me just fine. I've loved watching the rosellas, king parrots and new residents, the galahs all have babies. Our resident pair of magpies have birthed two young for the very first time, not losing the eggs to a goanna (or something) for a change. The girls have given birth to so many joeys I can't keep track of who is who anymore. To all those suffering trauma and dealing with difficult memories today, it's okay to do that. You're entitled to. Everyone on the South Coast this time last year, has a memory forever etched, that will never leave them. It's hard to forget the traumatic anniversary of an event that happened on the same day fireworks fill the sky signalling the new year. I promised that day, if I have one survivor, I'll go back and rebuild. Despite the many setbacks and difficulties, despite the unimaginable things that have happened to me personally that you guys don't know about, I made the kangaroos a promise and I intend keeping it. The rebuild has begun and 2022 is the year of excitement and a new start to a better life for all of us and the future animals needing homes at W2F.