Audio interview with Wendy Middleton, CEO, Wimmera Uniting Care, by Liza Dale-Hallett at her offices in Horsham, on 23 July 2009.

Wimmera Uniting Care is the fourth largest community service agency in Victoria and is part of the Uniting Church Network in Victoria and Tasmania. Wimmera Uniting Care employs more than 370 staff and is supported by over 300 volunteers, and assist more than 7,000 people each year in the Wimmera region by providing services, programmes and activities in children, youth and family services, disability, aged care, housing and finances. This agency works across the municipalities of Hindmarsh, Horsham Rural City, Northern Grampians, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack, with some services also provided in Ararat Rural City and the Donald/Birchip area of the Buloke Shire. Wimmera Uniting Care was the lead agency responsible for coordinating the Recovery process following Black Saturday. They provided case management for those impacted by the Black Saturday bushfires in Horsham and district, and provided debriefing services to local Council workers and others involved in the emergency response.

This interview forms part of the Victorian Bushfires Collection.

Description of Content

This interview covers the work of Wimmera Uniting Care during the recovery process following Black Saturday, the unique features of the Wimmera area, key demographic changes that have shaped this region, the heat wave prior to Black Saturday, the planning in place prior to Black Saturday, community connectedness, and the role of stories in the recovery process.

Physical Description

Digital file


360 properties in the Horsham region were affected by the February 2009 bushfires. This interview offers interesting insights into the 'disconnectedness' of communities impacted by the fires; some of those affected by the fires were traumatized prior to the bushfires by the global recession, drought, etc. This interview also refers to the important role of stories in the process of recovery. This interview also touches the issues of social inclusion and social justice issues in relation to natural disasters.

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