Fire resilience six months on

Local resilience: Terang district Red Cross volunteers (from left) Dorothy Selman and Jeanette Eller spoke with Corangamite Shire councillors Helen Durant and Lesley Brown about the effects of the St Patrick’s Day fires during the ‘Barbecue on the Lawn’ event on Monday.

RESILIENCE following the St Patrick’s Day fires remained strong this week, as members of the Terang and district community came together for a barbecue.

Six months on from the Saturday, March 17 fires, fire-affected residents and emergency services representatives took a chance to relax at the ‘Barbecue on the Lawn’ event on Monday.

The Corangamite Shire Council organised the get-together, which also included Western District musician Ian ‘Bidge’ Boyd serenading the crowd with a range of country and folk tunes.

Central Ward councillor Helen Durant said the day at Terang was a success as a number of locals sat down for a sausage or a burger and a chat at the Terang Returned and Services Hall garden.

Banding together: Victorian Council of Churches Emergencies Ministry representative Lovella Ashley-Coop joined Taroon residents John and Gail McConnell and their friend Ann-Marie Byrne to debrief.

“It was great to see so many people there,” she said.

Cr Durant said ongoing support for those affected during the fires was essential, even if they had regained their assets, as mental health was often a neglected impact of natural disasters.

“People can tend to forget about it (maintaining support), which is why these social events are so important,” she said.

Strength in numbers: Local musician Ian ‘Bidge’ Boyd entertained the guests at the ‘Barbecue on the Lawn’ day on Monday.

Cr Durant said she was “full of admiration” for the Terang community’s strength in the wake of the last six months of hardships.

She spoke with a number of district residents and emergency service representatives, with a number expressing their appreciation of the work of the council’s recovery officers.

The event was part of a series of similar barbecue get-togethers, with others held or scheduled in Cobden, Timboon and Camperdown.

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