2019 Bunyip Complex bushfire

This page has information on support services and updates on projects and programs that were delivered for the community impacted by the 2019 Bunyip Complex Fires. 

Business, farm and land recovery  

The Recovery Program has now concluded. 

If you require further information, contact Emergency Management by emailing mail@cardinia.vic.gov.au or by calling 1300 787 624.

Please see the final newsletter for information on local services and messages from those involved in bushfire recovery.

Read the final newsletter here

  • To guide our future recovery planning, council engaged Melbourne University to complete an independent review of our Bunyip Complex Fires Recovery Program 
  • This review involved consultation with the impacted community, volunteer groups and other government agencies involved in the recovery program  
  • The review includes information on how well council achieved our recovery plan objectives, what did the community, volunteers and agencies see as the successes and gaps in recovery programming and provides council with a set of recommendations for future planning 
  • Council is committed to reviewing and actioning the recommendations of the report 

Read summary of the Independent Review

Read the Independent Review

As part of the long-term recovery program Council in partnership with Taskforce Community Agency delivered a Youth and Family Outreach Program that provided support to young people and their families who were impacted by the Bunyip Complex Fire or the 2021 Storms. The 3 events, a drumbeats workshop, pool party at the Garfield Pool and skate event at the Garfield skate park attracted 200 young people. 

As part of the ‘Emerging from Fire’ exhibition, we sat down with Garfield North and Tonimbuk community members as they reflected on their experiences of the 2019 Bunyip Complex bushfires. 

From these conversations, three short documentaries were produced. They feature moving personal stories of loss, survival and –above all – strength, recovery and resilience. 

Thank you to Arlene, Katie, Sue and David for their insights and the courage it took to share their stories.  

Please be aware that these videos contain images, footage and details about the 2019 Bunyip Complex Fires that may be distressing for some viewers.  

Video 1 featuring Arlene Joachim

Arlene Joachim - Emerging from Fire from Cardinia Cultural Centre on Vimeo.

Video 2 featuring Sue and David McMahon

Sue and David McMahon - Emerging from Fire from Cardinia Cultural Centre on Vimeo.

Video 3 featuring Katie Turnbull

Katie Turnbull - Emerging from Fire from Cardinia Cultural Centre on Vimeo.

The Creative Recovery program saw local artists Gülsen Özer, Janine Good and Sue Jarvis facilitate artistic workshops with the bushfire-affected community, which has led to the permanent installation of 2 artworks and a sound piece.

This two-year program in partnership with Creative Recovery Network, funded by the Victorian Government provided workshops and a space for community members to come together and recover through art and music. The final artworks recognize and celebrate the strength of the community in the face of adversity.

Meeting Place’ by Janine Good and Sue Jarvis

The final artworks, consist of the artists’ designs laser cut into corten steel by local engineer John from Jonco Engineering:

  • 'Meeting Place for Reflection', Cannibal Creek Reserve, Garfield North. Corten Steel panel artworks by Janine Good.
  • 'Meeting Place – Outdoor Room with a View', Tonimbuk Hall, Tonimbuk. Corten Steel panel artworks by Sue Jarvis

‘Resounding’ by Gulsen Ozer

This sound piece includes soundscapes and music created with and for the community. Listeners are taken on a ‘sound journey’, capturing the spirit and resilience of the community in their recovery. 

Listen to sound piece here

Community Recovery Committee

Made up of elected members of the community, this committee plays important role in identifying community needs and priorities and communicating these to Council and the Victorian Government. The committee will continue to stay intact until their Indigenous Cultural Burn project is completed in 2024. Once this project is completed, they will review their status.

To get in touch with the committee please contact the committee on 0408 563 753 or email tonyfitzgerald2020@outlook.com

Tonimbuk Hall 

Tonimbuk Hall Committee has received recovery support for activation and upgrades so that it can continue to function as an important community space. Tonimbuk Hall has been upgraded with a new kitchen and outdoor area with a pizza oven.

More info: To find out what events and programs are running or to hire out the space please contact Garry Mackenzie on 0490 159 859 or tonimbukhall@gmail.com or go the Tonimbuk Hall Facebook page

Moy Yan Neighborhood House 

Moy Yan Neighborhood House is a non-for-profit community organization who will continue to deliver a range of programs and events for the bushfire-affected community. 

More info: Call 0481 895 509 or email info@bdch.com.au