8 January, 2019
A state commemoration service next month will mark ten years since the 2009 Victorian Bushfires.
The anniversary will be a time for reflection as Victorians remember the loss of 173 lives. Many more were injured and lost their homes, and there was significant damage to public and private property as a result of the fire.
The state anniversary commemoration will be held on Monday 4 February at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens. The event is being held before the actual anniversary on 7 February to allow for communities to hold their own events during the week or spend time together.
Consultations have been undertaken with survivors and the bereaved community about the state anniversary commemoration, and full details about the event will be released shortly.
Additional funding has been allocated to increase mental health and health support, through existing services, for bushfire-affected communities and first responders, and support the provision of psychological first aid at commemorative events.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is providing extra support to existing, trusted, local service providers wherever possible to make sure communities have access to services which are tailored to their needs.
These include counselling services; mental health, alcohol and other drugs counselling; community engagement activities; and GP locums.
People can access these local services by speaking with their doctor or mental health professional.
Anyone experiencing problems or changes in behaviour should contact their doctor, mental health professional, or Lifeline on 13 11 14 for help and support.
More support services and recovery advice is available on the DHHS website.
For updates about the State anniversary event, please visit the Victorian Government website .