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Local groups in Alpine share in more than $340K

9 December 2022

The 3rd anniversary of the Black Summer Bushfires approaches.

Bushfire Disaster Appeal has announced the recipients of its Alpine bushfire Recovery Grants Program. The appeal is facilitated by Bendigo Bank’s charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation.

The program was set up to aid in the long-term recovery of the Alpine Region. It will aid the continued relief, recovery, reconstruction and sustainability of communities.

A total of $340,916 is being distributed to 11 successful applicants. This will continue with the long rebuild from the devastating Black Summer bushfires.

Mark Ditcham is the Branch Manager at Community Bank Bright. He said the local community knows about recovery from extensive experience. They understand recuperation from a disaster of this magnitude would be a marathon, not a sprint. And it has proved to be so.

“The Black Summer bushfires have had a profound impact on many communities, intensified by the effects of the pandemic. And, three years on, many are still on the long journey to recovery,” Mr Ditcham said.

It’s also important to recognise the recovery process for people and communities is a very personal journey. It involves key stages over time. These grants to our local Alpine communities are so important.

“We all know community organisations play a critical role. They aid in rebuilding and strengthening the social fabric within communities. Supporting these groups is critical to enable them to facilitate programs, and to return to normal business."

Branch Manager at Community Bank Mount Beauty, Shelley Maher, also commented. "The strength and resilience seen by those affected by the Black Summer bushfires has been nothing short of remarkable.

“We have seen people rally together to recuperate, rebuild and invest in their communities. This ensures the future is brighter than ever. While this is certainly cause for celebration, it is imperative to remember that there is still work to be done,” Ms Maher said.

“These grants announced today are going to go a long way in continuing this fantastic work. In particular future proofing local infrastructure for future bushfires."

Kerry Murphy is the Secretary at the Myrtleford Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc. She said the Alpine Outreach Mobile Facility will go a long way in supporting the local community.

“The community owned mobile consulting room will assist Alpine and surrounding regions. It will be accessible to community groups, service providers and organisations. They can provide information and services to aid in recovery,” Ms Murphy said.

“The facility will be used for other health related services. These include mental health, financial counselling, diabetes screening, skin checks, youth services and blood pressure checks.

“I would like to extend my deepfelt thanks to Bendigo Bank and its Community Enterprise Foundation. Their help has aided in funding this incredibly important facility. It will be used by our community, as well as 10 other projects across our region. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the different community groups who have made this project a reality. In particular the Bright Rotary Club, who is a major Project Partner,” said Ms Murphy.

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