Services for those affected by the Victorian bushfires
Bushfire Specialist Bereavement Counselling Service
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB) offers a range of services and assistance for those who have been affected by the 2009 Bushfires. These services include four part-time Bushfire Specialist Bereavement Counsellors located in some bushfire affected areas, including:
For further information on accessing counselling or to make an appointment, please contact the ACGB by phone on (03) 9265 2100. To download a copy of the brochures for the Bushfire Specialist Bereavement Counselling Service in any of the above areas, click on the links above.
Bushfire Discussion and Support Groups for people who have lost someone close to them
Who are these groups for?
These groups are for adults who have lost someone close to them in the 2009 Victorian bushfires. This may be a child, a young person, or a close relative, friend, work colleague or neighbour. People recovering from major losses and disasters have often found it helpful and comforting to meet together in groups with others who share similar losses and experiences.
This is what a participant in one of the Bushfire Dscussion and Support Groups had to say about the experience of being in a group:
"The groups are invaluable. They provide you with an opportunity to be with others who really do understand you pain, people who understand that a year ago, one or more members of your family died in the fires" (Carol, 2010)
Groups have been established in the following areas:
Eltham: group meets monthly on a Monday evening
Kinglake: group meets monthly on a Thursday evening
Ringwood: group meets monthly on a Thursday evening
Strathewen Women's Group: group meets monthly on a Monday evening
Yarra Glen: grief group meets monthly on a Wednesday evening
St Andrews Community Connections: meetings occur quarterly
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement is currently looking at establishing groups in other locations. For further information on any of these groups or to make a referral, please contact the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement on (03) 9265 2100 or email email@example.com
KIDS GRIEVE TOO (KG2) Bushfire Support Groups for children 5-14 who have lost someone close to them
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement is also establishing groups for children aged 5-14 who have lost someone close to them in the Victorian bushfires. Kid Grieve Too (KG2) groups already include:
Hurstbridge: Two groups run concurrently on a Thursday afternoon, once a month (5-11yrs & 12+)
For further information regarding these groups or if you know any children who may benefit from participating in these groups, please contact the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement by phone on (03) 9265 2100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources and Websites
Dr Rob Gordon has provided some information and thoughts on the fourth year and how to take care of yourself, your family and friends. To download this article click here.
Dr Ruth Wraith has provided this useful article relating to children and adolescents and their experiences of grief over time. To download this article click here.
What to Expect in the Third Year, by Dr. Rob Gordon.
Following the release of the Black Saturday Royal Commission report, this article by Dr Rob Gordon may be of assistance to those bereaved by the fires.
How to Help This is information particularly for family and friends about how to help people bereaved through the bushfires.
The Rosemary Branch is a newsletter for people who are bereaved. There are three editions per year.
Fire Recovery Unit
On 30 June, 2011 The Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (VBRRA) ceased to operate, and in its place, the Fire Recovery Unit (FRU) began on 1 July, 2011. The FRU has been established to assist the ongoing recovery of communities impacted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires by facilitating strong relationships and clear responses to identified community needs. The FRU will provide a clear point of contact for information and connection to services within the State Government for bushfire-affected communities. While responsibility for reconstruction and recovery projects sits with other Government departments, agencies and local government authorities, the FRU will monitor and report to stakeholders on the status of progress of bushfire recovery activity. It will also communicate key information to bushfire-affected communities. For further information, click here to visit the FRU website.
Bushfire Communities Support Program
This program ceased in September 2012. For public enquiries relating to assistance with buhfire recovery, please contact the Fire Recovery Unit on 1800 055 714, email email@example.com or visit www.rdv.vic.gov.au/fire-recovery-unit
Department of Health
The Department of Health and Human Services Emergency Management website has a range of resources which may be useful for people who were affected by the 2009 Bushfires. There are links to a variety of general information, fact sheets, as well as links to region specific services. For further information click here
The Red Cross website offers a variety of information on a range of topics. For further information, click here.
The Coroners Court
The Coroners Court website has useful information for people severely affected by the Victorian bushfires. This includes a legal handbook that can be downloaded in full or in part. This site also offers information about the coronial process. For further information click on the Coroners Court link.
Youth Specific Links
The Australian Redcross has also developed a youth specific space that allows young people to share their stories, obtain information on common reactions, what helps and getting extra help. This site also provides lots of downloads. For further information click on the After the Emergency link.
Grief and Bereavement Organisations and Information
For information on grief and bereavement organisations and useful websites click here.
- Staying in touch newsletter
Download current and past issues of the Staying in touch newsletter.
- Kinglake Ranges & Healesville Regions
Download a copy of the Bushfire Specialist Bereavement Counselling Service brochure: Kinglake Ranges & Healesville Regions
- Melbourne Metro
Download a copy of the Bushfire Specialist Bereavement Counselling Service borchure: Melbourne Metropolitan area.
Download a copy of the Bushfire Specialist Bereavement Counselling Service brochure: Nillumbik.
Download a copy of the Bushfire Specialist Bereavement Counselling Service brochure: Marysville and Alexandra Region
- Bushfire Discussion and Support groups brochure
Download a copy of the Bushfire Discussion and Support Groups brochure.
- Kids Grieve Too KG2
Download a copy of the Kids Grieve Too KG2 Bushfire Groups brochure.
- How to Help
Download a copy of the How to Help handout.
- Looking after yourself after a disaster.
Looking after yourself after a disaster.
- Grief and Bereavement Organisations and useful Websites
Provides information on Grief and Bereavement organisations and useful websites.
- Release of the Royal Commission Report
Thoughts on the Release of the Royal Commission Report by Dr. Rob Gordon.
- Some Thoughts on the Second Victorian Bushfire Anniversary
Some Thoughts on the Second Victorian Bushfire Anniversary by Dr Rob Gordon.
- Responses in the Third Year after Disaster
Responses in the Third Year after Disaster - article by Dr Rob Gordon
- Responses in the Fourth Year after Disaster
Responses in the Fourth Year after Disaster - article by Dr Rob Gordon
- Grief over Time: Children & Adolescents
The Changing Experience of Grief over Time: Children and Adolescents Article by Dr Ruth Wraith
- Bushfire discussion and support groups
Bushfire discussion and support groups - Information for professionals