The Heroes of Black Summer

The Heroes of Black Summer

The Heroes of Black Summer

A picture book is playing a role in helping children overcome the ordeals they experienced during the East Gippsland region’s terrifying 2019-20 bushfires. The Heroes of Black Summer picture book tells the stories of the “heroes” who helped protect them and, through this, aims to help children process the trauma without suffering stress, anxiety or depression. Promoting resilience in children, while strengthening their connection with adults in their families as they read, heal and look at the pictures together.

Throughout Victoria, people started ‘paying it forward’ and doing what they could to help others in need. And many heroes emerged. Heroes of Black Summer is a picture book illustrating some of the heroic, brave and kind actions of Australian people during the 2019-20 bushfire season. Each mini story captures a real life experience of the harrowing events from individuals and families living in the East Gippsland region. The book provides fire-affected communities with a tool to manage stress, anxiety and depression to support healing and recovery, and is also a great resource to actively engage with the community to gather and share their stories.

Author: Craig Sheather is a travel and creative writer from Albury in southern New South Wales. He specialises in lifestyle writing about the outdoors, food and wine, luxury, adventure and family travel.

Co-author: Victorian author Kylie Miller has always been a writer, pumping out stories for her parents as a child before embarking on a career as an award-winning journalist and corporate writer.

Illustrator: Karen Erasmus is an artist, illustrator and designer working in a beautiful bayside town near Melbourne, Australia. Her illustrations and designs focus on colour, character and story.

The book was published by Australian Geographic with a One Good Community Wellbeing Grant through Gippsland Primary Health Network.

Vic 2009 Bushfire 10th Anniversary Projects

Vic 2009 Bushfire 10th Anniversary Projects

The 2009 Victorian Bushfires 10 Year Anniversary Community Arts Grants Program provided funding for community led, creative projects that reflected the experience of local communities impacted by the 2009 bushfires.

All projects occurred in one of the 21 local government areas directly affected by the 2009 bushfires.

TOGETHER

TOGETHER

TOGETHER

If you could share words or images that give you strength what would they be? 

During 2020 communities across the Moira Shire were invited to share words, ideas and images, to create this collective artwork. Each individual MoiraConnect contribution was woven together to represent resilience – the key element in what supports strong connections across the Shire.

Together is a symbol of our strength.

The exhibition came about through a partnership between Creative Recovery Network and Moira Shire Council, and includes 33 pieces of artwork from 17 Moira Shire artists installed on walls and buildings across the shire’s four main towns of Cobram, Yarrawonga, Nathalia and Numurkah.

 

Art Became the Oxygen

Art Became the Oxygen

ARTS BECAME THE OXYGEN

Developed by The US Department of Arts and Culture

Art and culture are powerful means of building empathy, creating a sense of belonging, and activating the social imagination and civic agency necessary to make real change. When we feel seen, when we know that our stories and imaginations matter, we are more likely to bring our full creative selves to the work of social change. That not only makes our work more effective, we have more fun.

Our national actions invite everyone to perform a future infused with the transformative power of arts and culture. Our local organising helps communities dream aloud and turn their dreams into reality. We connect people across regions in an ever-expanding creative learning community by sharing vital information, generating inspiring actions, and devising cultural policies and programs to catalyse a profound culture shift in the service of social and environmental justice. Together, we’re creating new narratives of our power and possibility and scaling up strategies for equity and belonging.

ART BECAME THE OXYGEN WILL FAMILIARISE READERS WITH KEY THEMES, ISSUES, AND UNDERSTANDINGS that can make the difference between work that helps and that harms. Without understanding the underlying principles and intrinsic challenges, practical information won’t mean much.

THIS GUIDE WAS CREATED WITH A BROAD READERSHIP IN MIND. We hope to engage three categories of reader who share the intention of offering care and compassion and helping to create possibility in the midst or wake of crisis:

  • Artists who wish to use their gifts for healing, whether in the immediate aftermath of a crisis or during the months and years of healing and rebuilding resilience that follow.
  • Resource-providers—both public and private grant makers and individual donors— who care about compassion and community-building.
  • Disaster agencies, first responders, and service organisations on call and on duty when an emergency occurs, and those committed to helping over time to heal the damage done.

The Blacksmiths Tree Project

The Blacksmiths Tree Project

The Blacksmiths Tree

To remember the people lost to the devastating Black Saturday fires of 2009 and our brave CFA men and women who battled the elements to protect our towns, the Australian Blacksmiths Association (Victoria) Inc. invited blacksmiths from across the country and around the world to contribute to the creation of a steel gumtree.

The Blacksmiths’ Tree, as it came to be called, was erected on February 14, 2014. Five years in the making, this 10m high stainless steel and copper tree was forged with love and care by hundreds of blacksmiths across 20 countries. It stands in the township of Strathewen, Victoria, Australia to remember all of those who perished in the Black Saturday fires of 2009, those who fought the fires and those who continue to live their lives with hope and courage.

To read more

A documentary film has been made about the development of the project – https://documentaryaustralia.com.au/project/forged-from-fire-the-making-of-the-blacksmiths-tree/

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