Bushfire memories: gathering stories.

Written by Binna Burra

July 20, 2020

As part of its program on ‘Science Matters @ Binna Burra’ Binna Burra Lodge will be an active contributor to a new $45,000 research project funded under a Commonwealth and State Government bushfire recovery program. 

The project is titled: ‘Fire memories: gathering stories about the fire impacts and responses to build resilience’!

‘It’s another activity within our long term strategic partnership with Griffith University, said Steve Noakes, Chairperson of Binna Burra Lodge.

As the lead organisation to submit the successful funding proposal, Griffith University will engage a team of cross-disciplinary researchers with expertise in tourism, community engagement, exhibition design and environment.

‘Binna Burra supports improving the capacity and capability of our local community to respond to future disasters. This new project will engage our local Scenic Rim community with their first-hand experience and knowledge of the natural disaster we experienced in 2019, including here at Binna Burra where we lost our heritage lodge and eleven houses were also destroyed in our local Beechmont community.

The project involves key partners directly or indirectly 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.

‘The research project aims to build community resilience to disasters by gathering and sharing first-hand experiences of the community responses to the 2019 bushfires that impacted on natural heritage sites’ explained Associate Professor Karine Dupre from Griffith University. ‘It will be a one year strategic research project underpinned by community focussed recovery.’

She added: ‘It aligns with National Disaster Recovery Outcomes by contributing to:

  • enabling the community to express its changing disaster recovery needs
  • enhancing community members awareness of the risks of future disasters with information that is available to help them to make informed risk reduction decision
  • improving community capacity and capability to respond to future disasters’

Two itinerant story telling exhibition pavilions will be built and located at sites such as Binna Burra before touring the Scenic Rim region. They will assist in the collection and sharing of memories, increasing awareness, fostering discussion and building collective learning.

The research project starts in August 2020 and will end in July 2021.

Stage 1:

  • Collecting the personal history of the 2019 bushfires – gather lived experiences from various stakeholders sharing how they have dealt with and recovered from the bushfires.
  • Memories of those impacted by the bushfires will be collected and reviewed to gain understanding of different perspectives
  • Outcome – production and display of two itinerant exhibition pavilions at sites such as Binna Burra before touring the region
  • Exhibitions will offer an immersive and interactive interpretation of the bushfire impacts which will help educate the public about bushfire disasters and their impacts, and also capture their own stories.

Stage 2:

  • Create a platform for social learning underpinned by the various phases of the disaster management: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.
  • Based on the shared memories, four community workshops will be organised to promote discussion around best practices, opportunities and recommendations for recovery with a view to strengthening resilience.

This research project is funded under: ‘Queensland Bushfires – Category C – Flexible Funding Grants Program Round 1 Small. An initiative jointly funded under the Commonwealth/State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement – applies to 23 disaster affected local government areas, including the Scenic Rim Regional Council (SRRC) area.

It aligns with the National Principles for Disaster Recovery – understanding the context; using local, community-led approaches; employing effective communication and identifying lessons and building resilience.

Contact people:

Steve Noakes, Binna Burra Lodge.

[email protected]

Tel: 0418774295


Associate Professor Karine Dupre, Griffith University – Gold Coast campus, Queensland

[email protected] 

Tel: 0403591902

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