2009 Victorian Bushfires

February 2019 marked the 10 Year Anniversary of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires, also known as Black Saturday, one of Victoria's worst disasters.

The Anniversary was a time to reflect and remember the 173 people who died in the bushfires, and learn about how the fires changed the lives of so many, and how communities have rebuilt.

The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, was the Patron for the 10 Year Anniversary commemorations.

An advisory panel supported anniversary planning.  The Honourable John Brumby, former Premier, was the Chair of the panel.  Members of the panel were:

  • The Honourable Patrick McNamara, former Deputy Premier, and Minister for Police and Emergency Services
  • Ms Susan Pascoe AM, 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission Commissioner
  • Mr Ben Hubbard, former Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority

Helping Victorians to remember and recover

The Victorian Government contributed $4.4 million towards activities for the 10 Year Anniversary, which included communities affected by the 2009 Victorian Bushfires.

The funding supported the:

  • State Commemoration (led by the Department of Premier and Cabinet)
  • Community Arts Grants Program (led by Regional Arts Victoria)
  • Commemoration and Community Development Grants Scheme (led by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning)
  • targeted teaching and learning support for schools (led by the Department of Education and Training)
  • expanded mental health and psychological support services (led by the Department of Health and Human Services)

State Commemoration

The State Commemoration for the Anniversary was held on Monday 4 February 2019 at the Royal Exhibition Building. The event complemented community commemorations that were held throughout January and February.

State Commemoration program

Master of Ceremonies
Craig Willis

Acknowledgement of Country

Australian National Anthem
Olivia Brereton

Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC
Governor of Victoria
Anniversary Patron

Dr Kathy Rowe

The Honourable Daniel Andrews MP
Premier of Victoria

Jane Hayward AM PSM
Strathewen Primary School

The Honourable Michael O’Brien MP
Leader of the Opposition

Steve Warrington AFSM
Chief Officer

Chocolate Lilies Choir

The Firestick Project

Catherine Forge
Museums Victoria

Didgeridoo played by Gnarnayarrahe Waitairie and Brent Watkins

Download the printed version of the program:

State Commemoration video

Watch a video recording of the commemoration event.

Flags at half-mast

In remembrance, Victorian Government departments and affiliated agencies flew the Australian National Flag at half-mast all day on Monday 4 February and Thursday 7 February 2019.

Bushfire Museum and Education Centre

In February 2019, the Victorian Government announced it would create a bushfire museum. Victorians will be able to provide input into the project through a community consultation process. This input will help inform future planning and design work. Creative Victoria will lead the project in consultation with the Office for the Victorian Government Architect.

Mental health and psychological support

The 2009 Victorian Bushfires were a traumatic and distressing event. When reflecting on the bushfires, people may experience different emotional and physical reactions.

Anyone experiencing problems or changes in behaviour should contact their doctor, mental health professional, or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

More support services and recovery advice is available on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Reviewed 04 April 2019

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