18 September 2020 Recovery Newsletter

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Welcome to the Macleay Valley Recovery e-Newsletter

You’re receiving this email because you provided your contact details at one of our recovery events. The email is a fortnightly newsletter that we will send you containing regular updates of the programs, activities and events that are part of the Macleay Valley Recovery Action Plan. We hope you find it helpful.

Thank you, Jo McGoldrick, Recovery Coordinator

Allison Mitchell

Helping to lead her community

As the school principal of a small community Allison Mitchell wears many hats.

She is involved in church, helps with every community event including Anzac Day and is the first person to call when someone’s cattle has got out onto the road.

“Being a principal you have to multitask,” Allison said.

And when fire roared over the mountain towards the town of Bellbrook, Allison’s first instinct was to help protect her community.

“It was a full-on day, it started at 2:30pm when we got the first phone call that students who live further up river had to go home as the fire was coming down to Bellbrook from Comara,” Allison said.

“As I was leaving school I saw a few cars go around the corner and I asked them where they were going as there was a fire over that way and they told me they had to let cattle out.

“I said to them well give me your children, don’t take them over there.”

To read the full story visit our Recovery website  

Shirley Smart

Bellbrook is open for business  

Bellbrook publican Shirley Smart has seen it all from drought to bushfires and now coronavirus.

But while she has seen the worst of Mother Nature, Shirley has also seen the “absolute best” from the community she has called home for three years.

“To see a fire come over the hill, we didn’t know what to do at first. But everyone rallied and worked together to get through it and we couldn’t have done it without the help of so many people.”

Now as people recover, she said the bushfires had “actually brought the community together”.

Shirley also wanted to let the broader Macleay Valley know that the pub, general store and post office were open for business with COVID-19 restrictions in place.

“We would love to have 200 people here and sit around the fire like old times but at the moment we have to adhere to health restrictions due to the pandemic" she said.

“Just bear with us, we love it here, this is our community. We have fought for it in the fires so we want to fight for it now.”

Read the full story on the Recovery website  

Bellbrook Retreat

Bellbrook cabins 

Overlooking the idyllic banks of the Macleay River sit the Bellbrook Cabins.

From this position there is nothing but green lush mountains as far as the eye can see and crystal clear flowing waters below.

It’s a far cry from the burnt landscape just 10 months ago.

“You could see the fire come across the ridge behind Bellbrook and head to Willawarrin,” said David Wilcock who runs the cabins with his partner Michelle Armson.

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