2009 Victorian Bushfires: Supporting recovery

Runtime 00:33:34
Released 5/12/20
Emerging Minds Podcast
2009 Victorian Bushfires: Supporting recovery

In this episode, April Harrison reflects on her experience of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires and the impacts they had on her and her community. April, who was 8 at the time of the fires, shares how her school and the community played a big role in supporting her recovery 

April and host Natalie Rutstein also discuss the potential impacts of natural disasters on children’s mental health; the powerful role that schools and educators can play in helping communities heal; and the importance of including young people in bushfire recovery efforts 

Some people may find the stories in this podcast distressing. If you or someone you know requires assistance, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636. If life is in danger, call 000. 


In this episode you will learn: 

  • the range of emotional presentations that may emerge in children post bushfires [03:41]
  • how learning communities and educators can be helpful in the immediate aftermath of a bushfire [12:04]
  • how to support children experiencing distress in a tailored and flexible way in the classroom [18:04]
  • the role of peer support in bushfire recovery [23:04]
  • the importance of normalising the whole spectrum of emotional responses post bushfire [25:01]
  • the role and power of youth-led recovery resources and workshops [29:40]
  • key messages for learning communities in their bushfire recovery [31:42]


Further information and resources: 

Community Trauma Toolkit: https://emergingminds.com.au/resources/toolkits/community-trauma-toolkit/ 

Trauma sensitive behaviour management: https://emergingminds.com.au/resources/trauma-sensitive-behaviour-management/ 

More water than fire: A poster showing ways parents and carers can build safety with children touched by fire Children need to not feel alone: https://media.digistormhosting.com.au/woodleigh/content/MoreWaterThanFire.pdf?mtime=20200129130339

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