Tenterfield saddler, Peter Allen 1972.
Tenterfield, in northern New South Wales, is small but well-known.
In the seventies, Peter Allen earnt his hometown a beloved place in the Australian psyche, when he sang about country life, his family and his work.
In September, Tenterfield was one of the many communities hit by the devastating bushfires that burnt across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.
Yet out of the dark, in the aftermath of the fires, the spirit that Allen sang of is what will underpin Tenterfield’s recovery.
Last week, Minderoo Foundation staff visited the town to listen to the locals and find out their priorities for the rebuild effort. It was there we met Bronwyn Petrie and Jim Landers, who are next door neighbours, and friends.
As flames approached Bronwyn’s property, she kept an eye out for Jim’s place — a selfless act of neighbours coming together to help one another.
Both are active and involved members of their local community, through agriculture groups and the Rural Fire Service.
They spoke to us about the need for community-led feedback and of the drivers of this horrific bushfire season. They spoke about potential solutions for the future.
As Tenterfield and other fire-affected towns begin to rebuild and recover, we need to listen to people like Bronwyn and Jim.
We need to give local communities the support they need and work towards a future where Australians do not have to face a bushfire crisis of this scale again.
Minderoo is mobilising and funding volunteers who can provide support on the ground.
Bushfire affected communities need helping hands from all over the country to move along the road to recovery.
Together with local and government agencies, Minderoo Foundation seeks to help regional towns and communities.