Anne Morrison has been awarded joint 2022 Kangaroo Island Citizen of the Year for her work during and after the 2019/20 bushfires.
As KI Garden Club president, Anne has facilitated more than $100,000 dollars worth of plants, equipment, and materials into the hands of bushfire affected locals.
In the early days of the bushfire, Anne also committed her shed as a drop-in centre. She has also since help organise the Open Garden program and the building of community gardens, both healing events.
Together with gardening expert Sophie Thomson, Anne recognised how deep and serious the loss of vegetable and ornamental gardens was, as well as fruit and nut orchards.
This was damage that went unnoticed by most, but very early they identified how this overwhelming deprivation would impact the mental health of more than a hundred landholders.
In the months since the fires, Anne has maintained contact with more than 100 impacted gardeners and has welcomed these gardeners around 450 times to a makeshift garden centre in her carport. That equates to around 25 visits each month.
Visiting Anne to pick up donated plants, or hay, or all manner of gardening materials, is an opportunity for a chat with someone who understands that recovery is a long slog, not a convenient package of a couple of months. She knows gardens are important in creating home and security. Their loss is felt deeply.
Her commitment to our recovery, like so many other unsung volunteers across Australia, including Sophie, Denis and Maree, Bernie and Meaghan, has been an effort entirely outside the recovery system engineered by government - unsupported and unrecognised, but deeply vital. - Kathy Barrett