Summary

Grocon sign displayed at the Wildhaven Wildlife Centre during the cleanup operations following the Black Saturday bushfires. Wildhaven was one of the last properties to be cleared by Grocon because of the size of materials to be removed (three train carriages, a cottage, a house and multiple sheds).

'The Grocon sign was put on the fence to let people know that Grocon was working here. It has the number 2290, which is the number of our property and the C13191 is the code given to the cleaning up being done on that property. And they take the signs with them when they leave, and then they stick the next number over the top. And they hang it on the front gate, so that the workers coming know where, which property they’re working on. And I kept this one because we were the last one that they visited, and then they left this area.' (extract from interview with Stella Reid, 4 Sept 2012)

Alan and Stella Reid live adjacent to the Kinglake National Park. They created 'Wildhaven' in 1998, as a refuge and rehabilitation centre specialising in kangaroos, wallabies and koalas. The Black Saturday bushfires destroyed everything on their property, all of the animals in their care were killled, and their home and other buildings were razed. Stella is a member of the St Andrews CFA and was on active duty during the day; she witnessed her home go up in flames from across the valley. Alan, who was at home when the fire struck was lucky to escape without injury. The fire killed twelve of their neighbours, the 40-50 animals in their care, hundreds of animals in the surrounding properties, and (according to their estimate) up to 90% of the wildlife in Kinglake National Park.

Physical Description

Rectangular core flute sign with printed safety and warning symbols. A white sticker has been adhered to the bottom right hand corner of the sign, with handwritten inscription in marker pen. There are metal rivets in each corner.

Significance

This item is part of a collection relating to the experiences of Alan and Stella Reid following the devastating impact of the Black Saturday bushfires. In particular it helps provide insights into the community response through the variety of gifts and donations provided to survivors of the bushfires and the ideas of the types of needs they represented.

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