Networking helped in the Victorian Bushfire Crisis in more ways than one..

One of our Inspiring Women, Genevieve Collette had emailed me for assistance as some of her family are involved in businesses in Marysville, Victoria. For those of you who don’t know this area, it is a gorgeous little historical village in the bushland area of Victoria. (visit to see how it used to look)

Marysville is a small town where everyone knew everybody and always looked out for each other.
After the bushfires had been through, only 7 buildings were left standing. Many had died and all the residents had been displaced into “tent city” until police, insurance people, SES and others had all done their jobs.

The request from our member was a simple one…..
The remaining Marysville people need the following:

  • Pillow cases for the orphaned animals
  • Blankets
  • Phone rechargers (most people had fled for their lives and left their rechargers behind)
  • Pet food
  • Toiletries
  • Toothpaste

An empty shop was located in Dee Why for storage and emails were sent out to the business community to “please assist” with their needs.
The response was overwhelming!
Here we were thinking that we’d get about a ute and a trailer full, what we didn’t expect was the response…

Heartfelt thank you’s go to many businesses and locals but especially to:

  • Inspiring Women members and friends
  • Warringah Chamber of Commerce and friends
  • Sun Express in Brookvale for donating a truck and all fuel to delivery the extra 83 large boxes that we still had to get there,
  • Thrifty at Brookvale who partly donated a large 1.6 toone high top van and free mileage
  • St Rose Catholic Primary School whose children donated toys and parents donated much neede homewares and manchester
  • Mona Vale Newsagency who without telling me had started collecting for us in the Pittwater area and had collected a massive collection of beautiful homewares & clothes
  • Rent a space Brookvale for donating boxes and their extraordinary manager Terry who drove the large van down to Victoria and back
  • To the Inspiring Women mailing list who had donated boxed of new bras, doonas, pillows, baby clothes, books, toys-even a fold up bed!
  • Travelodge Manly Warringah who donated “left behind” mobile phone recharges, cables etc
  • Dee Why Variety store who donated large bags for storage
  • My Office Services who sent out the request to their clients who collected massive amounts of donations and fund raised for fuel, who also sent in caps from their clients Jim Beam
  • Smallwoods Lawyers
  • Beinspired
  • Ken MacManus & family
  • On Fire Design
  • Chris Andrew
  • Profile Health
  • Kennards for boxes
  • Helen Bailey- Celebrant 4 you
  • Helen Scard
  • Therese and Wayne Roby from Cuisine Scene Hospitality Solutions for all their donations and enthusiasm and networking skills
  • Leslie from Playhouse Toys
  • Wendy Buckingham from Class One Producations
  • Concept Amenities @ Brookvale for their boxes of sample toiletries
  • Multi-powered Products for their battery & solar powered devices
  • Dee Why Police
  • Dee Why Dry Cleaners for clothes hangers

plus much much more!

So many locals walked in off the street, asking what was needed and then going and buying it and bringing it in. Manly items were brand new or gorgeously looked after, suitcases came in full of clothes,toys, shoes, a lovely lady from a local crocheting club donated beautifully trimmed towels, face washers, blankets that they had been working on for a year- too many things to describe!

Unfortunately many staff of existing businesses and owners have died, including both the president and vice president on the Marysville Chamber of Commerce. The local resort has decided not to reopen in the future as many residents had jumped into their pool to get away from the fire…the temperatures were too high for anyone to survive.

First it as 21

Marysville will rebuild- they are a strong community and are worried whether anyone will come and visit their village again. They will need our support when they rebuild. This will be a “must-visit” destination when they reopen again to assist their community to grow.

Without networking none of this wonderful assistance would have happened

Visit (Sun Feb 22,2009) to see a Richard’s (Richard is the brother of our member) view of the fire.

The photo you see at the top is the last remaining boxes, all the 100’s of large bags, suitcases and smaller boxes have already been distributed.
The large boxes are now at Ruffy awaiting collection by Richard in the Marysville Bus, going through to Alexandra about a half hour trip,where a distribution point will be set up for Marysville and the surrounding community.
They were really happy that we had labelled the contents of all the containers which was something not done by many other groups that had sent stuff down for distribution.
We will have photo’s of the distribution in about 10 days.

Gotta love networking!

One response to “Networking helped in the Victorian Bushfire Crisis in more ways than one..”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great effort from all of you folk! It is wonderful to see how small communities come together, support and help each other, in a very real way. It was overwhelming the support and generosity – especially in such a small time frame.