Gathering memories from the bushfire ashes

Remnants of the 2019 bushfires which razed heritage listed properties on the Binna Burra Lodge grounds. Supplied: Steve Noakes.

Stories of resilience will be collected and transformed into interactive exhibits for key sites in the Scenic Rim impacted by the devastating 2019 bushfires.

Griffith University with community stakeholders, including strategic partner Binna Burra Lodge, will collaborate to tell first-hand accounts of survival and recovery and unearth important insights for future natural disaster preparedness.

Research lead Associate Professor Karine Dupre from the Griffith Institute for Tourism says the project will also showcase the community’s ability to adapt.

“By collecting the lived experiences from across the Scenic Rim community, we will get many different perspectives on how stakeholders dealt with the aftermath and recovery from the bushfires.”

She said the memories will be weaved into two exhibition pavilions educating the public about bushfire disasters, their impacts and community stories.

“Our aim is to create a platform for social learning for the community by focusing on the different phases of disaster management: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

“These shared memories will powerfully inform four community workshops to discuss best practices, opportunities and recommendations for recovery to strengthen the existing resilience in the Scenic Rim community.”

The project involves key partners impacted by the bushfires — Binna Burra Lodge, Mount Barney Lodge and Scenic Rim Regional Council — as well as the wider community including residents, emergency services, local businesses and visitors.

Binna Burra Lodge chairperson Steve Noakes says the research will help improve the capacity and capability of the local community to respond to future disasters.

“This research is underpinned by our community’s recovery and the first-hand knowledge we’ve collectively gained through this experience. At Binna Burra we lost our heritage lodge and eleven houses were also destroyed in our Beechmont community.”

Earlier this year Griffith signed a long-term strategic partnership with Binna Burra Lodge to collaborate on research and education initiatives.

The Fire memories: gathering stories about the fire impacts and responses to build resilience project is funded under a Commonwealth and Qld Government bushfire recovery program.