Audio and video interview with Cheryl Sanderson by Liza Dale-Hallett, at her home in Myrtleford, North East Victoria, on 11 May 2010. Cheryl Sanderson has a long history of active community involvement in nearly 30 community organisations including: SES, Forest Industry Machinery Expo, Rotary, Red Cross, St Vincents de Paul Society, Carer's Support Group, Disability Support Group, Community Committee for Alpine Health, Catholic Women's League, a local church bereavement support group, Bluelight, Anglicare, local women's wellbeing network, family violence network, Rate Payers Association, Ovens Valley disability lobby group, Early Learning is Fun, a women's gathering group, drought relief programs.

This interview forms part of the Victorian Bushfires Collection.

Description of Content

This interview covers her involvement as a community volunteer since the 1970s, her particular involvement in the relief and recovery effort following the Black Saturday bushfires, the role of the Red Cross, previous experience of bushfires (1968, 2003, 2006), the heat wave prior to Black Saturday, the extraordinary community response to her calls for assistance and donations, managing the bulk of donated items, the challenges and stresses of volunteer work, the closing down of the tobacco industry, impact of drought. She reflects on the importance of women in supporting the community, her changing sense of the value of 'things', her motivation and passion in being involved in community work, and the value of collecting stories.

Physical Description

Digital file


Cheryl's extraordinary commitment and involvement in local community organisations highlights the vital role of volunteers in rural communities. She makes the statement that 90-95% of the Alpine Shire is unratable as it is crown land, it therefore has a very low rate base on which to provide support to its residents. She describes in great detail the range of items donated, the many issues and challenges presented by donations, the enormous stress placed on volunteers, the generosity of pensioners and some of the major changes that have impacted north east Victoria.

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