Project 5 - Archiving the stories of the June 2021 storm
Updated Oct 2023: This was the initial idea - now modified to "Memories of the Storm' as we only got $2,000 rather than the $10,000 that training community folks would have cost. Also when this was written in Sept 2022, we anticipated most folks affected directly by storm damage would be sorted out and settled. However this is not the case in Nov 2023, many people are still not back in their homes or sorted out.
We have been in discussion with YRC Lilydale Archives to explore how this project will develop - our modified approach is explained here.
From the Sept 2023 application:
Our project is about exploring ways to archive stories, written by, told by or filmed, of the folks who experienced the exceptional and unusual ferocity of the winds, the trauma of trees falling and the devastation to property, as well as the stories of those from the community and the services that helped on that night, during the weeks without power, and the past year. We will train a team of local people to be able to record these oral histories and agree how we share them using a website we are currently creating and also archiving them.
Project Rationale - What is the need and how will you address it?
For the past year people in the Hills across and around Mount Dandenong, have been telling the stories of what happened to our homes and our families on the night of 9/10 June 2021 and in the weeks that followed, as well as the difficult months since then. The Hills Creative Alliance team have taken an active role in creating opportunities to enable 'storm survivors' as we initially called ourselves, to go through the process of telling and retelling our stories to help us along the road to recovery. Now we need to explore ways to record these stories to create an archive: initially on a website - then working to archive them for others to understand what happened in this freak storm. This process will be fully consultative, with a properly trained team to record the stories, with professional training and support throughout.
Project Outcomes: What is it you want your project to achieve?
We want this YRC funded project to help us map our way through understanding the disaster we have been through and the recognise the ongoing trauma of the rebuilding, repairing and redeveloping our homes and our communities, as well as recording how the forest repairs itself and what help was given.
We want to create records of the stories of the storm and it's aftermath, to help others to understand what happened, so that lessons can be learned and we can get back to a new normal and put this experience behind us
We want the stories of individuals and organisations to be archived - to be recorded and remembered We want to be able to tell our stories ourselves, helped by others in the community who are trained and supported to undertake this task
We want future generations to be able to access the stories, so they can research what happened and understand We also want to share our stories in summary for people who love the Hills and visit our communities as a slim publication based on the summaries of the stories which will be put on our website
However we only got $2,000 awarded - with suggestions of other funding sources