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On Tuesday 8 September 2020, the one-year anniversary of the bushfires that devastated Binna Burra Lodge in 2019 was held on the site of the 1933 first camp at Binna Burra.

The event marked the official opening of the Binna Burra Bushfire Gallery by Cr Greg Christensen, Mayor of Scenic Rim Regional Council and Steve Noakes, Chairperson of Binna Burra Lodge Limited.

The gathering commenced with a Welcome to Country and an indigenous healing smoking ceremony by representatives of the Yugambeh Region Aboriginal Corporation Alliance (YRACA) – as part of the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program Binna Burra is now engaged in for the long term.

The welcome to country was delivered by Uncle Ted Williams, a Community Elder, a proud Mununjali man. Clinton Brewer, a Kombummeri-Ngarangwal man from the Gold Coast area led the healing smoking ceremony which was appreciated by all attendees.

The event marked the official opening of the Binna Burra Bushfire Gallery by Cr Greg Christensen, Mayor of Scenic Rim Regional Council and Steve Noakes, Chairperson of Binna Burra Lodge Limited.

The welcome to country was delivered by Uncle Ted Williams, a Community Elder, a proud Mununjali man. Clinton Brewer, a Kombummeri-Ngarangwal man from the Gold Coast area led the healing smoking ceremony which was appreciated by all attendees.

The Mayor welcomed a new chapter in the Binna Burra journey. “We must take this opportunity to reflect on the heartache, loss and trauma experienced by the close-knit Binna Burra Lodge Board, staff, volunteers and loyal guests and our broader Scenic Rim community, and we will never forget that time,” he said.

“But today, one year on from the bushfire which devastated Binna Burra Lodge, we also look to the future with hope and optimism as we carry on the legacy of its co-founders, Arthur Groom and Romeo Lahey’s shared vision of creating a place where people could stay and experience the beauty of the Lamington National Park rainforest.  Once again, sharing the wonder of nature with people who visit the Scenic Rim.’

On behalf of Binna Burra Lodge Steve Noakes thanked the Mayor and Council for its support throughout the recovery process.

“Here at Binna Burra, and for many months that followed as the bushfires continued around the Scenic Rim region, the Mayor displayed enormous resilience, character, and leadership when the community needed such a person,” said Mr Noakes.

“For us at Binna Burra, we are thankful for his immediate support at the time of the bushfires and over the past 12 months of our recovery.”

Division Three Councillor Virginia West said unity had been at the core of Binna Burra Lodge’s recovery.

“There has been an immense team effort by the Board and team at Binna Burra Lodge, the community and all levels of government, and an outpouring of support from loyal guests locally, nationally and internationally to band together and ensure our beloved Binna Burra Lodge could open its doors to keep welcoming guests for generations to come,” she said.

“The reopening of Binna Burra Lodge is cause for celebration, and I acknowledge that the road to healing is ongoing for the communities of Binna Burra and Beechmont, who will forever remember the bushfires of 2019.”

Noakes also expressed thanks to the Australian and Queensland Governments representatives present for their collaborative support to ensure access on the single road into the Binna Burra side of the Lamington National Park was now available.

‘The support and cooperation between all levels of government – Federal, State and Local - along with the support we have received from the National Bushfire Recovery Agency has been critical to us being here today one year after the bushfires devastated our part of the Scenic Rim’ he said.

The Bushfire Gallery is located at a building called the ‘Barn’ at Binna Burra. It is open seven days a week from 10 am to 3 pm. Entry is free of charge.

 

Channel 7 news coverage of the event:

www.facebook.com/7NEWSGoldCoast/videos/967125800469479

ABC Brisbane and Gold Coast broadcast live from Binna Burra on Tuesday 8 September 2020 (2 hours 30 minutes) www.abc.net.au/radio/brisbane/programs/mornings/mornings/12620946

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