Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)
On Yugambeh Country
The Little Pocket Association is located in Beechmont, a quiet village nestled in the Scenic Rim in south east Queensland. They’re a community organisation that provides a safe and supportive platform for local families to connect with community and place. Because of their work, they were well positioned to assist with the recovery process in the wake of the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires.
Through the News Corp Bushfire Fund program, FRRR helped to fund The Little Pocket Association’s initiative ‘Regeneration – Creative Bushfire Recovery’ project. The community-led 24-month creative recovery project was designed to offer the community various projects, workshops, events and activities that would culminate in a series of murals and a memorial.
As part of the project, 25 local artists, Indigenous Elders, Scenic Rim counsellors, Creative Community Development Officers, industry professionals from the arts, health and community sector and residents who were deeply impacted by the bushfires, came together and participated in a three-day creative recovery workshop.
Those who attended the workshop underwent creative recovery training, where they built an understanding of what a successful disaster recovery process would look like. Not only did this workshop provide an outline for how the project would take shape but there were so many unexpected outcomes from the weekend.
The connections and friendships that formed over the two days were the foundation from which the project grew. For those who attended, it was full of reflection, self-care, deep connection, healing and learning.
It was also crucial to The Little Pocket Association that there was community and cultural consultation throughout the process. They hosted four community days attended by 200 residents and created an online community where locals could give their input on the murals and memorial that would be created.
After a two-day mural workshop, stage one of the project was completed and has seen beautiful murals adorn the community. The paintings celebrate connection to place and represent the community’s shared experience of the bushfires. The memorial acknowledges and speaks meaningfully to the residents affected by the Sarabah bushfire in September 2019.
“We are so proud of what The Little Pocket and the Regeneration – Creative Bushfire Recovery project has achieved… We have successfully delivered a creative recovery project in our community over the past two years with many creative outputs and so many tangible and intangible outcomes for the community and the individuals who have been involved.”Jessica Brown, Director of The Little Pocket Association.
The feedback from the artists and community has been overwhelmingly positive. As a result of this initiative, social inclusion has been boosted and a sense of belonging and connectedness within the community has been restored.