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Ruyton Grammar visits Kinglake
On Wednesday 8 May, seventeen Year 9 & 10 students from Ruyton Grammar school in Kew, made a visit to Kinglake as part of their school project on Disasters in Australia
Kinglake Captain Craig Lawless and Brigade members Linda Craske and Steven Bell were there to host the event and arranged an informative day for all the students.
The two mini buses arrived at 10.00am and were quickly whisked off to Frank Thompson Reserve where they were given a very informative overview of the fires and its effect on nature from Parks Victoria Ranger Tony Fitzgerald.
Tony gave them a whole different perspective on fires showing them the photos of gradual regrowth and talking about the 40 new species of plant found since the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires. He also talked to them about the Greater Glider and its return to the previously burnt out Kinglake National Park, all thanks to some great collaboration with local farmers. This collaboration resulted in the planting of native corridors through farmland from unburnt forest from Black Saturday back to the regenerating forest which had also been their home prior to February 9th 2009.
The students then spent some time at the old Kinglake Fire Station where Craig and Linda talked about the important role the station played not only on Black Saturday but for the many weeks afterwards as a place where the locals could gather, talk and enjoy a BBQ meal. Linda commented however that after 3 weeks of BBQ meals 3 times a day, it’s been “very hard to think about cooking a snag on the Barbie, there’s only so many bbq’s you can handle”
Then off to the new Kinglake Station where Linda, Craig and Steven showed them around the new complex, the Kinglake tanker and some of the protective clothing worn by firefighters. The girls had a try on of some PPC and had a go at trying the hoses. They were then run through a very informative Fire Safe Youth session by Craig and Linda on understanding fire danger ratings and bushfire safety.
Everyone then had lunch and the girls set off back to Melbourne via the Kinglake National Park to do some fuel loading and slope assessments for the last part of their assignment.
Our thanks to Vassie Kakolyris who arranged this day with the school and the Year 9 coordinator commented that they would speak to her further if okay with Kinglake brigade to making this an annual event.
Well done Craig, Linda, Steven and Tony on a great day which the students found informative and very educational.