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Creative tribute to first responders

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A stunning Rosedale mural dedicated to local firefighters has been proudly displayed on the toilet block in the Prince Street Reserve, Rosedale. 

Creative tribute to first responders

The mural, named ‘Thanks, First Responders’ was created using funding from Emergency Management Victoria as part of the community’s recovery from the Rosedale bushfire which struck on 4 January 2019. 

The fires impacted the Holey Plains State Park and a nearby pine plantation which had a significant impact the local community.  

Rosedale Fire Brigade Captain Stu Burley said the mural represented an overwhelming amount of local support for the brigade, particularly over the past couple of years. 

“It is really humbling for our community to recognise the work all local firefighters do to keep the town safe,” he said. 

“This was a bushfire that started around six kilometres outside Rosedale on a very hot day and many of our members were first to respond. 

‘The fire ended up growing to around 12,000 hectares, which obviously had a lasting impact on our community.” 

Photo: Full Rosedale Mural

The $10,000 grant was intended to be used by the community to plan a First Responder’s Appreciation event, however due to COVID-19 restrictions the project pivoted to instead support local artists and develop two murals – one dedicated to local firefighters. 

Cpt Burley said the mural was a very realistic depiction of the fire CFA and Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) crews faced on 4 January 2019. 

“It shows a large bushfire being tackled by air support in the background, CFA and FFMVic members working together at the end of the hose and a CFA tanker and FFMVic operational vehicle in the foreground. 

“While it does not depict every emergency service, the fire fight was a collaborative effort across all agencies and this mural represents that.  

“I encourage all members of our community and travellers to take the time to admire the mural.” 

The initiative was delivered with assistance from Wellington Shire’s Emergency Management Team, helping promote community connection and resilience.