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AIME Volunteers help to clean up after bushfire damage in Batemans Bay

Vikki Parsley, University of Wollongong, Batemans Bay Program Manager

“The fires have impacted almost everyone I know personally and professionally. My parents were affected by the Currowan fires. My first priority was networking and identifying assistance available in my community to support people and exploring ways we might fill gaps or needs not identified. I have a responsibility to both my family and wider community. Today was an amazing opportunity to invite my team members on country to assist in a clean-up, to witness first-hand some of the devastation following the fires whilst helping my family at the same time.”

16 January 2020 – Batemans Bay, NSW – AIME Program Manager Vikki Parsley stops for a breather with a team of AIME volunteers helping clean up a family property. Image: Grace Douglas.

Lisa Toolin, University of Wollongong, Bega Program Manager

“My community was deeply affected by the recent fires that devastated the South Coast of New South Wales. Many people on the coast are now trying to cope with massive losses, including cherished homes and loved animals. That is why it was special for me to take part in ‘We Stand, We Lend a Hand’ this Thursday. We chose to clean up a property on this day, as this is the first step that must be taken after the fires in caring for the land, and ensuring future safety.”

16 January 2020 – Batemans Bay, NSW – AIME Program Manager Lisa Toolin and with a team of AIME volunteers help clean up a family property. Image: Darren Brady.

“Cleaning up was as a very peaceful and healing experience for me. In the aftermath of a time of great sadness and as my heart hurts for my community, it was lovely to be surrounded by the regrowth of nature and a supportive team.”

16 January 2020 – Batemans Bay, NSW – A burnt tree begins to sprout new leaves. Indigenous practices – burning off, clearing and managing the land – have been credited with helping keep some properties safe from more extensive damage. Image: Grace Douglas

Vikki Parsley & Lisa Toolin

17th January 2020

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