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2 March - Marshmead Site Visit
4 March - MLC Appeal for Mallacoota
Updated 12 February 2020
Whilst bushfires are no longer headline news and flooding is the latest issue to be reported upon in the media, there has been quite a lot of activity at our remote sites, MLC Marshmead and MLC Banksia.
I am delighted to advise that there have been no further concerns at our MLC Banksia site. Our Year 11 Outdoor Leader Camp was successfully held onsite last week, and importantly, our first 2020 Year 7 program will head off this Sunday as planned.
However, the situation at Marshmead has been rather different, as fire to the north of Marshmead has continued to threaten the property. For the last 3 weeks Marshmead has hosted a crew of 16-20 DELWP (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) personnel who have worked hard to protect both Marshmead and the surrounding area.
In addition, you may also have read about the team of scientists from Zoos Victoria who were flown in to Marshmead to rescue 15 Eastern Bristlebirds, as their habitat in nearby Howe Flat was under threat.
Even as recently as this past Friday and Saturday, the serious fire threat remained. The below image shows the proximity of the smoke to the campus at the beginning of this month.
The DELWP teams, the CFA and Marshmead staff have worked incredibly hard for over two weeks to ensure the property and surrounds were as prepared as they could have been.
Works included the removal of trees, a large D7 dozer putting in a mineral earth break, fire equipment tested and retested, and exhausting overnight watches. The picture below was taken last Friday 7th February evening, on the beach at Mallacoota.
The image below was taken from Mallacoota, looking toward Marshmead on Saturday morning.
And then, most thankfully, the rain started on Saturday afternoon! At the time of writing, Marshmead has had 81mm of rain since Saturday with the hope of more on the way.
With the site almost surrounded by areas that have been burnt, it is evident how lucky we are to still have Marshmead.
In further positive news, the majority of our Marshmead staff are now safely staying within the township of Mallacoota. We hope that they will all be able to return to Marshmead this week, even just for the day.
We recognise that Mallacoota still has a long road of recovery ahead. As a College we are looking and ways and means to support the Mallacoota community. There are a number of proposals currently being considered and these will be communicated to the MLC community in the coming days.
Importantly, I would like to close this update in repeating my thanks to colleagues who are working tirelessly to support Marshmead, as well as all our Kew colleagues who have taken on additional teaching this term to accommodate the original Term 1 Marshmead students. As previously mentioned, these students have been reallocated to Terms 2, 3 or 4 so they can all benefit from a full Marshmead term program.
I know all our thoughts remain with all communities across Australia who have been impacted by these unprecedented bushfires and to those members of the emergency services for their ongoing and incredible work in the face of such adversity.
Wish best wishes,