Summary

Handmade get-well card, one of a large group sent from the students at St. Mary's School to the Burns Unit of The Alfred hospital. St. Mary's is a Catholic primary school located in the small community of Robinvale, about an hour out of Mildura, Victoria. Most of the children who attend St. Mary's come from dryland farming and fruit-growing properties in the area.

After Black Saturday on 7 February 2009, the children were greatly affected by the media coverage about both the people and the animals caught in the fires. They collected toiletries and pet food for the relief effort. The students in Years 4 and 5 came up with the idea of making get-well cards for the bushfire victims being cared for in the Burns Unit of The Alfred. The children, aged from 10 to 12, made dozens of cards for the nursing staff to distribute and included prayers, stories about themselves, descriptions of their homes and small gifts including handmade puzzles and bookmarks.

Physical Description

Green card stock folded in half with applied horizontal stripes of crepe paper in yellow, purple and brown. The inner lining of red paper has been folded over the top to create a red stripe. The message 'Thinking of YOU!' is written on metallic silver ink. On the back is a continuation of the stripes and the message ' From Johanna [name withheld] / hope you get well / Good Luck' and an inkstamp of St. Mary's School crest.

Significance

This card was one of many that were received by The Alfred hospital in the days following the bushfires of February 2009. People around the world responded to the crisis with donations of money and material aid but they also wanted to express personal messages of hope and support directly to the people involved. The Burns Unit, as one of the major hospital services receiving victims of the bushfires, was swamped with cards, letters and gifts not only for the patients but also for the staff of the Unit. This collection illustrates the power of the media in conveying the effects of the fires, but more importantly it demonstrates people's need to connect directly with the victims and their carers, regardless of whether they even knew their names.

More Information