On November 25th 2015 a fire storm swept through the Lower Mid North area of South Australia. Tagged as the ‘Pinery Fire’, it burnt out 85,000 hectares of farm land, which included the district’s wheat crop, fences and countless amounts of farm machinery. The fire also destroyed 91 homes, 300+ farm sheds and 71,000+ head of livestock.
Throughout the fire ground 2,500 people were affected and 2 people lost their lives through the direct impact of the fire. The South Australian Government has established a Recovery Committee to assist individuals and communities affected by the devastation of the fire storm and Global Care is one of a great number of individuals, Government Departments, Community Groups, businesses and NGOs who are represented on the Committee. The Government appointed Coordinator of the Recovery Committee, Vince Monterola has said it is expected that this concerted recovery effort will continue for up to 2 years.
Global Care’s Pastor Beverley Dales and Kerry Turvey first joined the recovery effort as Chaplains but found after Christmas that the need of the fire affected people was not chaplaincy but counselling. Both are qualified counsellors and continue to have a presence every week within the 10 towns affected by the fire. As a part of the Recovery Committee Team they, with the other representatives, are serving to make a difference in the lives of people who have been overwhelmed by the effects of the trauma.
Some of this serving has been the presentation of therapy workshops, school therapy based initiatives, community recovery events, resourcing of people’s material needs, connecting people with others on the committee who are able to assist with specific areas of need and both family and individual trauma recovery counselling. They are connected to and serve with the Churches within the Pinery Fire area and are greatly appreciative of the support given by Rev. Phil Marshall. Both Pastor Beverley and Kerry have shared that it is a privilege to have the opportunity to aid communities on behalf of a loving God who greatly cares about people. They both believe that it is the people of the Pinery Fire area who are the heroes of this disaster as everyday they rise to face insurmountable obstacles as they endeavour to restore their lives, farms and homes.