The Kangaroo Island community's bushfire recovery process took another step on Tuesday February 4, when a group of more than 80 held an initial workshop to discuss the island's recovery needs and how its people can best be supported on the path to recovery.
Organised by Kangaroo Island Council and the Department of Human Services, the day's aim was for the community to begin identifying issues arising from the fires, and establish timelines for addressing them.
State Recovery Office Director, Georgie Cornish said the process of recovery would be a long one.
"Some needs are immediate, while others will become apparent in months and even years," he said.
"This workshop has been a great first step in making sure we can all do our best to support recovery of the island."
Community members organised themselves into five groups, depending upon where they felt they wanted to contribute most on the day.
These groups tacked immediate, medium- and long-term needs of the island. The themes discussed were Social (health & wellbeing), Environment, Economic - tourism, Economic - primary production, and Infrastructure.
Mayor Michael Pengilly said the workshop was the precursor to driving bottom-up recovery delivery for Kangaroo Islanders.
"It is most important that the community provide the direction forward through ideas generated locally and that they are being fed into an agile system that provides resources where they are needed,"
The workshop was just the beginning of the community's recovery planning. In coming days and weeks, ideas, feedback, and stories from the wider Kangaroo Island community will be captured and fed into recovery planning.
The Department of Human Services would like to express its gratitude to attendees of this initial workshop for investing their time and expertise into guiding the future of their island.
It's recognised that that there are many who could not be present on that day and not every issue and opportunity was captured at this initial workshop.
Recovery will be a long process and will be strongly supported by Kangaroo Island Council and State Government.
If anyone would like to discuss any of the themes from the workshop, please contact one of the leads below, or the Local Recovery Coordinator.
Bob Teasdale, firstname.lastname@example.org 0448 635 009
Andrew Heinrich, email@example.com 0427 596 108
Economic - tourism
Jeanette Gellard, firstname.lastname@example.org 0429 990 063
Economic - primary production
Shirley Pledge, email@example.com 0427 041 787
Graham Walkom, firstname.lastname@example.org 0452 286 238
Local Recovery Coordinator
Mike Williams, email@example.com 0418 818 522