Ewingar Creative Recovery Program
The Long Gully Road fire claimed two lives, destroyed 44 homes and devastated the tiny village of Ewingar in northern New South Wales in October 2019.
The destruction and debris scorched the community’s psyche, but a remarkable turning point was reached when the village embraced creative workshops as a form of catharsis.
Hayley Katzen, a local community member managed the development of a series of workshops, reaching out to all local community to participate, lead or support. She facilitated a grant from the Clarence Valley Council and Rural Adversity Mental Health Program. Weaving, ceramic, mosaics food and connection took place over several months. And it was a songwriting workshop with Australian music icon John Schumann that would become the conduit for connection and healing for the more stoic men of the community.
Hayley said the Long Gully Road song was a powerful acknowledgement of the community’s losses but also a beacon of hope that ends with lyrics about recovery, regeneration and renewal.