Bushfire Bereaved Advisory Group Legacy Document released
“The Victorian Coalition Government has today released the Victorian Bushfire Bereaved Advisory Group Legacy Document, which will inform Government on future policies regarding timely and sensitive disaster bereavement responses,” Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response said.
“The teachings contained within the Legacy document will facilitate raised awareness of disaster bereavement.
“This is a recording of the lessons and reflections of those who lost loved ones during the 2009 Victorian Bushfires and had to negotiate a long and complex road through ongoing grief as part of the recovery process.
“The Bushfire Bereaved Advisory Group was established by the Victorian Government in December 2009 to provide direct advice to government on issues affecting those bereaved by the devastating bushfires.
“The Advisory Group formally ended in mid-2013, but members of the group took the time to document their experiences in order to raise awareness of disaster bereavement for others.
“This volunteer group has documented their thoughts, observations and experiences and compiled this Legacy document, which tells the critical story of the many and varied experiences of people bereaved by the 2009
“I’d like to thank all those who gave their time and energy to the Advisory Group in what were the most difficult of circumstances.”
The primary authors, Ms Elizabeth Savage Kooroonya and Ms Rhonda Abotomey, formally presented the document to Government earlier this year, on the 5 th anniversary of Black Saturday.
“The 2009 bushfires took 173 lives, resulting in countless bereaved families and friends not only in bushfire affected communities but also more widely across Victoria, other Australian states and territories and
internationally,” Mr Wells said.
“Black Saturday tested Victoria in so many ways, and this document provides an important legacy for Victoria by sharing some of the experiences of the bereaved community.”
The Legacy document can be downloaded via the Fire Services Commissioner’s website at www.firecommissioner.vic.gov.au/publications
Media contact: Jess Jackson 0437 422 048