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Community-led recovery

We acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional custodians of the lands and waterways where we live, work and play. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes for our Countries. We acknowledge that First Nations people continue to live in spiritual and sacred relationships with their Homelands.

Our Recovery Plan

Our Recovery Plan is a dynamic document which reflects our community’s priorities as we recover from the devastating bushfires of 2019-20.   

The Recovery Plan is not the product of one author or committee. Instead, it captures and synthesises the thoughts and efforts of many individuals and organisations. In so doing, we lay the foundations for community led recovery. This is our recovery story.

Normally, we would have had community and workshops to gather ideas. COVID-19 has prevented this so we have had to do things ‘back to front’. The Plan is therefore in draft form pending community endorsement of projects and priorities; it’s also a very much work in progress as we get our heads around ‘community led’ recovery and what is possible.

Chapters One to Four of the draft Recovery Plan provide analysis and information to aid decision making on recovery projects by external agencies, such as funding. Chapters Five to Nine of the draft Recovery Plan contain those project suggestions. Chapter Seven is the largest of the project chapters, as well as the most developed as we strive to take advantage of current funding opportunities. 

Your votes are in!

MADRA’s Community Consultation Wrap-up was held on 22 June, when results of our community consultation voting were presented to the community.

Of the 68 projects put to the vote, 57 received a vote of over 80%. 

Every project received a majority vote, that is, over 50% of community members who voted supported the project. 

Click HERE to see the presentation that was screened on the night, and HERE to read the transcript.

The full voting report can be found HERE.

Thanks MADRA.

Fuel Management

Fuel management webinar series

MADRA’s Fuel Management Working Group has prepared a series of 8 Webinars. Topics will include: what happened on the day, moderating fire behaviour, understanding the makeup of forests, traditional knowledge, community engagement, the agencies, understanding risk and BAL ratings and management tools.

What happened to Mallacoota and District during the Bushfire?

In this webinar, agency representatives talk about their experience on the days leading to and including the day of the fire that impacted on Mallacoota and District. Each speaker was directly involved in the campaign to protect our towns.

Houses and Fire

Tailored for homeowners, this webinar will give you a chance to learn about what previous disasters have taught us: how houses are destroyed by bushfires and reducing your house and property risks

Understanding Fire Management

Fire science gives us an insight into how fires behave. Guest speakers include Greg McCarthy (DELWP), Ross Cutlack (DELWP) and Stephanie Montague (CFA).

Fuel Management Working Group

MADRA’s Fuel Management Working Group has produced an overview of the group’s intentions and progress to help keep the community informed about fuel management issues around Mallacoota and District. 

The FFMVic’s Gippsland Bushfire Management Strategy 2020 is an overarching strategy for both public and private land, with fire management zones, how risks are identified, etc. It is a public document that is a good reference point for people to get an overall understanding of the process. Click here to view.

On Wednesday the 28th of April, the Fuel Management Working Group meeting was held at the Mallacoota Community Club Rooms. Click to view meeting minutes.

The Mallacoota Township Fuel Management Project has proposed a series of Fuel Management Plans. Click here to view draft consultation maps.

We have been receiving letters from our community with concerns about vegetation and fire affected vegetation in and around the Mallacoota and district areas, we have shared these concerns with EGSC and to view their response, click here.


In the immediate aftermath of the fires, a ‘Thinking Group’ was formed which was led by a range of community minded people that had the foresight to start the collection of ideas and skills in community-led recovery. They met with Steve Pascoe, a Disaster Recovery Mentor (who had been through the Strathewen fires from Black Saturday in 2009), to help plot out the process of how to implement a community led recovery program for Mallacoota. On Wednesday 15th January 2020, a large group of representatives from Mallacoota’s community organisations were invited to attend a meeting to discuss a way forward.

 This helped to disseminate information to a larger group of people. The purpose of the meeting was simply to gauge if the community felt the concept being developed was heading in the right direction. From here, a proposed Recovery Model (a framework without Mallacoota region specifics) was put to a town meeting, where it was overwhelmingly endorsed. This model was recognised as a best practice example of community led recovery (based on The Strathewen Community Renewal Association, which won state and national Community Resilience Awards).

Election of the committee

The Association has grown to over 764 active members. Members of the MADRA Committee were elected after a rigorous and independent election held through the Victorian Electoral Commission on 21 May 2020, in which an incredibly high voting response rate of 88% was received, with 44 locals standing for election.

The current association has a proposed lifespan of three years and the Committee consists of 11 community elected individuals.

The history of MADRA: Community consultation and community-led recovery

Our mission

MADRA was established to ensure the needs, wants and aspirations of our community are considered as part of the recovery process following the 2019-20 bushfires.

We are a voice for our community.

We play an active role in community-led recovery by:

  • encouraging community involvement in the recovery and rebuilding process and related activities.
  • identifying and prioritising the needs of MAD and assisting in the recovery and rebuilding process.
  • influencing government bodies to work to meet identified community needs and priorities.
  • facilitating communication of information between community, government and agencies.
  • advocating for individuals, families and community groups.
  • attracting and applying for monies and identifying projects/needs requiring funding.
  • providing a focus for communication and coordination between community groups.
  • channelling funding and other opportunities to appropriate groups and individuals.
  • working with our funding and delivery partners to ensure optimal disaster recovery outcomes for MAD.
  • working with other Community Recovery Committees (CRCs) to share lessons learned and offer support.

Our vision

We will be an inclusive, vibrant, strong and safe community.

Our vision will be achieved when:

  • Everyone in our community who needs bushfire assistance has received it, no-one will have slipped between the recovery process cracks.
  • We have restored what we loved and improved on what we didn’t.
  • As a community, we feel confident we are prepared in the face of disaster.
  • Through the recovery process, we have identified and created opportunities that promote resilience, diversity, well-being, connectedness and economic security.

MADRA committee members

MADRA has recently undertaken its first successful AGM and a new committee has been elected.

Chair: Paul Preston

Deputy Chair: Peter Hancock

Secretary: Carol Hopkins

Treasurer: Graham Dempster

General members: Kate Cowden, Ken Grime, Reiner Hurst, Rosy Morton, Jeanette Obri, Phil Piper, Bryce Watts-Parker

Dr Rob Gordon's webinar series

Dr Rob Gordon is a clinical psychologist and an expert in mental health first aid. Dr Gordon has hosted a series of webinars to help support people affected by bushfires. Run by Bushfire Recovery Victoria, each webinar has been recorded so that you can watch at a time that suits you.

Mallacoota and District Bushfire Commemoration Film

Please find below the link to the Mallacoota & District commemoration film. The film is an opportunity for locals and visitors to gently commemorate the 2019/2020 Black Summer Fires.

Please click here to watch the video.

Latest news

For our latest updates and recovery news follow us on Facebook.

Free counselling is available for East Gippsland community members through the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

Useful recovery links

MADRA’s messages to visitors – Download PDF

Welcome to our community – Download PDF

Community support – Download PDF

Website Terms and Conditions – Download PDF

Grant finder – Click here 

Bushfire Recovery Victoria –

East Gippsland Shire Council –

MADRA Media Release – Jenny Lloyd inducted into Victorian Honour Roll of Women – Click here

Contact us

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