Last newsletter I shared our survival through a catastrophic bushfire that ravaged Mallacoota at the end of 2019 into 2020. Now all of us are dealing with a worldwide pandemic and restrictions pertaining to Covid19. 2020 is definitely NOT the year we all anticipated but somehow we must stay safe, make the best of it and hope jobs and the economy are restored.
Mallacoota was just beginning to rise from the ashes to reclaim all that visitation and tourism attention we are so blessed with at holiday times. Folks were planning to flock to our wilderness-rich corner of Victoria for school holidays and Easter, ready to spend much-needed $$$ in our beautiful town. In fact, the campground on the edge of the inlet was already totally full with folks who had arrived early!
The 2nd ever Wild Harvest Seafood Festival was planned for this very weekend that I am writing to you. The organisers were hoping to build on last year’s inaugural success and begin to heal some of the town’s wounds of fire affected businesses.
Then Covid19 struck and travel restrictions were imposed. The campground closed and all visitors were asked to leave. The Seafood Festival is now postphoned until September.
Mallacoota is quiet now with locals staying inside between essential journeys for food, business and exercise. We check up on each other and deliver to those self-isolating.
With the enforced lack of visitation, the natural environment seems to be taking a huge deep breath. Trees are resprouting, slowly wildlife is returning post-fire. Everything took a hammering in the fire but signs of recovery are everywhere.
The removal of destroyed houses that once were homes but now look like flat packs, is underway. We all hope Covid restrictions don’t hold up this process. People who lost their homes need to feel they are moving forward.
Having a home-based workshop means it is business as usual for Alison Green Designs. I am busy printing, catching up on stock and filling orders. Post offices remain open as essential services so orders are going out as usual.
My heartfelt wish is that you all stay safe through 2020.
I ended my Christmas newsletter sending heartfelt thoughts to all in fire ravaged areas, little knowing that it was to be Mallacoota’s turn on Tuesday Dec 31! Our New Year became a blur of property protection and chaos. Then we faced a similar fear on Saturday Jan 4 when the sky again turned black, then red, as smoke from other East Gippsland fires swept through on a wind change.
Our house and workshop emerged unscathed, twice! Not much ember attack in this part of town but areas backing onto bush were badly impacted and houses were lost – around 100.
I don’t need to go into details because I believe the media picked up on Mallacoota’s unique isolation and ran with the drama of 4,000 people taking refuge on the beach and the subsequent evacuations of visitors, elderly and vulnerable in the following days by sea and air. Our plight even hit the New York Times!
The following Guardian article and images by a talented local journalist, Rachel Mounsey, express more than words can say about the experience.
In the collage of images at the top of this email…starting from the left:
1. Checking messages and emergency app with fire gear on waiting for fire to hit.
2. Broken water bowl at my friends’ garden. They lost their house but birds are still visiting the bowls of water we’ve put out amidst the devastation.
3. We got some sleep overnight and woke to a brief dawn that turned quickly and progressively to pitch blackness as thick smoke and ash descended. At 7am it was like nighttime, as the fire devastated houses on the edge of town.
4. The sign outside ‘Salt’, a shop in town owned by Courtney and Mark, who lost their Banksia Mudbrick Units and home.
5. Don the magnificent! Not only does he love my Sooty Owl T-shirt but he used to be props manager for Opera Victoria and has been running the evacuation/relief centre at the community hall, co-ordinating sound, set-up, supplies and aid. When Max and I turned up to help, he said “We are the glue! We just connect people to people, services and goods”. Onya Don, it was a privilege to work beside you for 2 weeks.
6. At the relief centre post-fire, we suddenly realised the sun had emerged! First time thick smoke had dispersed since the fire. Was blissful to feel the sun and breathe clean air again!
We lost power for 2 weeks but electricity has been restored via generators until the road is open from Melbourne for big trucks to replace power poles. Alison Green Designs is up and running again – business as usual. Thank you to everyone who has ordered and have been waiting patiently for Aust Post to restore service, which is not far off.
Please note that any orders received now will be packed straight away but may take a bit longer than usual to arrive. Things are slowly returning to normal and I expect to be able to post in a week’s time.
A recovery committee is forming that will involve a cross-section of community members to facilitate the rebuild and resurrection of Mallacoota, which will emerge stronger than ever. Love this community. Loved it before but totally love the resilience and kindness I have witnessed since the fire. The People’s Republic of Mallacoota salutes you!
Cheers and good wishes for 2020 (the year of good vision!)
The celebration of National Bird Week has its origins back in the early 1900s when 28 October was first designated the first ‘Bird Day’. BirdLife Australia organises and promotes Bird Week with the goal of inspiring Australians to take action and get involved in bird conservation efforts.
To recognise and contribute to the work being done by Birdlife Australia towards recovery of endangered bird populations, Alison Green Designs will make double donations from sales of endangered species bird design T-shirts during Bird Week from $3 to $6.
Double donation applies to all T-shirts on the Endangered Species Page of the website and offer expires midnight Sunday Oct 28th.
Happy Bird Week everyone!
… is going plastic bag free.
The fabulous community I now call home – Mallacoota, on Victoria’s wilderness coast – has adopted the plastic bag free campaign and now that I work and live here, I am keen to follow suit.
I am already offering only paper bags when I sell at the local Artisans & Producers Market but I will continue to use up my existing supply of plastic bags for postal orders until they run out.
If you have received your order in a plastic bag, please reuse it as many times as possible before passing it on or recycling (if possible).
Cheers and here’s to a…
The new studio down here in Mallacoota is going ahead in leaps and bounds. Three walls up and will be moving printing & cutting tables in this week. Exciting!
Max wearing the ‘Repeat Perentie’ design T, available now on rust background… View here…and once again on purple as soon as my squeegee hits the ink! Let me know if you want one & I’ll let you know when it’s available.
The big move south went well and we are slowly settling into our new home and planning the creation of a new workspace – exciting!
It is a delight to be relocated at last to a part of the world that we have always treasured. Can’t believe it when we wake up and look out on beautiful Mallacoota Inlet with Croajingalong National Park all around us to explore.
All the hard work of relocation has been worth it and I’m happy to report that the new stockroom is up and running and orders are being posted out as usual.
Cheers … Alison & Max
…in order to keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
A new financial year draws to a close and exciting changes are afoot. After 24 years printing and creating in my beautiful big red shed here at Wallaby Gully, Alison Green Designs is on the move…to Victoria’s wilderness coast.
Max and I are moving our home and workshop to the little town of Mallacoota, tucked away in the far south east corner of Australia.
Mallacoota is surrounded by Croajingalong National Park with landscapes so spectacular and environmentally significant, UNESCO nominated it a World Biosphere Reserve in 1977. The park houses impressive biodiversity, including almost 1,000 native plant species and 315 animal species… so I will have endless inspiration and exploration on my new front doorstep! Exciting!
The endangered Hooded Plover breeds there and there are seal colonies off the coast so seals often find their way into Mallacoota Inlet to feed and haul out. Birdlife is abundant – a birdwatcher’s heaven.
I have built up stock in preparation for the move so there will be no interruption to orders but may not be able to fill special orders for a while until my new workshop is up and running.
I will announce and post pics of new workshop when operational.
Cheers, Alison 🙂
December 12, 2016
I received this lovely update today about the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Wyndham research centre by Save the Gouldian Fund as a base for scientists and volunteers working in the field there. Click HERE to read.
If you have ever purchased a Gouldian Finch T-shirt from me then you are a fellow donor to this wonderful project. Thank you.
November Endangered Species Month – where together we made double donations to each species’ recovery fund – raised $396!
Orange-bellied Parrot was the most popular – majority of $$ to Moonlit Sanctuary’s captive breeding program to reinforce numbers in the wild. I also donated $55 of the money raised to the OBP crowdfunding campaign set up by TeamSwiftParrot from ANU to move quickly on setting up nest boxes and monitoring for the next 2 years at the OBP breeding ground in Melaleuca, southern Tasmania.
Other funds have been allocated according to sales of each design.
Donations on ENDANGERED SPECIES DESIGNS page now revert back to $3 as usual.
Thank you to everyone who purchased & contributed through November. I’m now filling orders with Christmas on the horizon, ensuring they get to you as quickly as possible.