JavaScript is required

Echuca's youngest building their own recovery

Echuca Primary School Hands on Learning program children sitting outside on top of building supplies and holding up wooden frames for their outside project

Recycled building materials from the Echuca flood recovery operational hub are being put to good use by Echuca Primary School students as part of their Hands on Learning program. 

The program supports young people to learn outside a traditional classroom environment.   

'There’s about 16 of us. We go down on a Thursday afternoon and we build stuff around the school', says one keen member of the Hands on Learning program.  

Echuca was one of the many communities across Victoria impacted by the October 2022 floods. In response, we quickly started a Clean-up program to coordinate debris removal and 'mucking out' of mud from people's homes. We also:

  • assessed homes for damage
  • removed hazards caused by the floods
  • demolished homes that were beyond repair.

To coordinate the program, we set up operational hubs in impacted areas including Echuca. The hub was an operations base for assessment and building work in the area. It was also a safe space for volunteers to come together and debrief, building a sense of community and camaraderie.

When it was time to close the Echuca hub, we wanted to ensure that materials and goods used to support recovery were reused by the community. 

Building materials from the Echuca hub were donated to Echuca Primary School to support new Hands on Learning projects.

Scott Trewhella, Community Engagement and Wellbeing at Echuca Primary School, has been involved with the program for 5 years.  

When asked about the donation of materials, he says ‘we jumped at the chance because it is one of those wonderful things, it’ll stay in the community which is really important.'  

'I think we’ve probably got 2 years of projects ahead of us now which is something that wouldn’t normally happen. We’d be scrounging week by week to try and come up with things. Now we’ve got some really great plans for what we’ve been able to collect today,' says Scott.  

Leah Sullivan, Manager Contractor Field Operations at Emergency Recovery Victoria adds:  

‘We're really pleased we're recycling these building materials so that they continue to deliver positive outcomes to the Echuca community.’