Storm and Flood Recovery News

Dear resident, 

Last week marked the one year anniversary of the storm event that devastated communities across the Yarra Ranges. There were many stories in the media and we would also like to thank community members Belinda Young and Helene Campbell for telling their stories to us.

On the anniversary, the State Government announced a further $2 million funding which will ensure that staff are able to continue working with our community on their recovery journey for a further 12 months.

This funding is important as it means that no matter what the year ahead brings, we’ll be here to help, to lead, to guide and, most importantly, to listen as we go down this road together.

Residents who have experienced trauma, damage or loss as a result of the June storm are also able to discuss their circumstances with the Victorian Storm Recovery Support Program that is coordinated by Windermere by contacting 0408 521 320.

Residents can also contact Council’s Community Recovery Team on 0477 056 265 for advice or connection to a range of support services.

12 months on - storm anniversary 

It's now a year since the Yarra Ranges was hit by the worst storm in the region’s history, one that left a trail of destruction and a current damage bill of more than $16 million.

Hear how our impacted community has pulled together and the progress that's been made as we all embark on this recovery journey together. 

Watch the the 12 months on - storm anniversary video

One year on - storm anniversary events

After consultation with community groups, Council offered small grants to enable community-led gatherings to support community wellbeing between Friday 27 May and Friday 24 June.

While the anniversary of the day has now passed there are still a number of small events to gather, reflect on shared experiences, and/or thank people who helped.

Find out what anniversary events are being held around you

Webinar advice on how to support yourself and assist others at this time

We know that the past 12 months have been incredibly tough and we hope that these videos from State Disaster Psychologist Dr Rob Gordon, who offers his insight and experience into what residents may be feeling during this time, will be helpful.

In these videos, Dr Rob Gordon offers some words of wisdom around the one year mark, managing expectations, children and trauma, and advice for accidental counsellors.
Tackling uncertainty and anxiety ahead of the storm anniversary
Helping children and teenagers with trauma
Support for accidental counsellors during storm recovery

Our Councillors reflect on storm impact

The June 2021 storm shook a sense of security for so many local people including Councillors who live in the area and like so many others had to weather the storm in their homes. 

Reflecting on that day, the Mayor and several councillors share their memories of the 9 June storm and the community response following it. 

Read our councillors reflections

Collaborative donation for Rescue Logs

Yarra Ranges Council donated 37 enormous logs to the Community Group Rescue Logs in April, to be repurposed into community-focused projects.

In a collaborative effort, VicForests covered the costs of transporting and delivering the logs to a property in Monbulk, while Yarra Ranges Council donated the materials themselves.

Over the past year Council has endeavoured to reuse as much fallen debris as possible with valuable logs being shared amongst the community for projects around the hills as a reflection of their significance to Yarra Ranges people and their value to the local biodiversity.

This sentiment was shared by Julia who said she founded the aptly called ‘Rescue Logs’ group to rescue logs from being mulched or used as firewood.

Find out more about the Rescue Log story

Men’s shed receives Council donation of blackwood logs

At the Badger Creek Men’s shed work is underway to repurpose Blackwood timber that Yarra Ranges Council donated to the group.

In February 2022, Yarra Ranges Council received a number of expressions of interest from local community groups, Men’s Sheds, and artists, many of which have now taken possession of the unique blackwood logs after they fell during the June storm.

182 pieces of the valuable wood were shared among 57 individuals and groups, including Badger Creek Men’s Shed.  Badger Creek Men’s Shed Treasurer Alan Jones said the organisation of 30 members relied on donated materials and that blackwood was very rarely donated because of its value.

Read the full Men's Shed story

Spotlight on temporary housing 

Mayor Cr Jim Child, has called on insurance companies to provide some certainty for residents who are currently in temporary accommodation following the June 2021 storm.

Residents impacted by the June 2021 storm who are continuing to negotiate with their insurers may wish to contact Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC) who can provide free information, advice, and referrals for anyone in the storm affected areas. They are available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm on 1300 325 200. 

Find out more

 Watch Reimagining your Rebuild and Repair videos

In March and April 2022, Council ran two Reimagining your Rebuild events, which were held to empower residents with the knowledge they need to assist them in their rebuilding journey.

Residents who are undertaking a full rebuild were invited to the private event and attendees were given the opportunity to speak with experts and residents in a supportive setting.

Videos taken from the Reimagine your Rebuild event are now publicly available and cover topics including: learning about the Planning Permit Application process and repair journey ahead, geotechnical engineer reports, health/septic presentations and biodiversity reports.

Watch the videos

Youth Augmented Reality Storytelling Project

Do you know a young person (15-25) who was affected by the June 2021 storm in the Yarra Ranges?

Would you like to share your story as part of an exciting new Augmented Reality art project and exhibition?

Yarra Ranges Council has teamed up with UNSW to deliver an augmented reality (AR) project that will showcase AR stories developed by a diverse range of young people from the Yarra Ranges community who were impacted by the June 2021 storms.

Tell your story in Augmented Reality

Last chance to complete the Pandemic and Storm Survey

We all learned a lot over the last two years. Some of this includes things we’d like to fix, or like to see more work on.

Since the pandemic began, we’ve run regular surveys to see how the community is grappling with the pandemic and the June 2021 storm.

We’ve used feedback from community members to advocate to the State Government and telecommunications companies for better internet reliability. We’ve also used this feedback to shape mental health and wellbeing programs, community art programs, our temporary outdoor dining program and campaigns to promote local businesses.

When it comes to recovery, we know there’ll be a lot more work over coming years, so we want to make sure we know what our community needs to see.
Fill out the survey before 17 June

Parenting during challenging times

Would you like to explore how to better support your kids to cope during uncertainty?

Would you like to be able to manage better and do more than just survive during these uncertain times?

The Parenting Stronger During Challenging Times is a six-session free program for parents/carers who have experienced any challenges due to the June 2021 storm and want to further develop their skills for parenting during challenging times.

The program will be coordinated by Yarra Ranges Council Community Recovery team, facilitated by Julia Russell from Anglicare Parentzone, and supported by Mums of the Hills.

There are six sessions in all and sessions will be held every Thursday between 4 August - 8 September from 9.30am - 12pm at Montrose Town Centre.
For more information and to book

Healing in Our Gardens 

Over recent months many storm impacted residents and communities have been reaching out to us for support, ideas, and resources to help them restore and rebuild their private gardens damaged or destroyed in the June 2021 storm or from subsequent clean-up works.

Many residents are now also faced with changes to the landscape and environment that surrounds their gardens. Gardens that were once covered by shade are now more exposed to sun, heat or cold.

To help our impacted residents reimagine their gardens and local environment, we will soon be launching our Healing in our Gardens project.

The Healing in our Gardens project will have three main focuses.

  • My Garden Sanctuary   - where residents can come together and learn more about how to restore, reimagine and rebuild their own gardens
  • Lending a Hand – Where residents can connect with and support each other and their communities, by sharing their gardening knowledge, experience, or physical skills.
  • Beyond my Fence – Where residents can come together, learn more and be involved in supporting and caring for their local environment, biodiversity, sustainability, and place.

We’ll be sharing more details about this community recovery project, and the launch date of our Healing in our Gardens project with community, in next month’s Newsletter and across our social media platforms. 

If you want to find out more about the Healing in our Gardens now or register your interest to receive more information, please contact Deb Sargentson – Community Recovery at 

Support is here for you 

The State Government funded Victorian Storm Recovery Support Program will continue to be available to residents during 2022, which will enable Windermere, Anglicare and Oonah to continue with their important support services for a few more months.
Residents who have experienced trauma, damage or loss as a result of the June storm are able to discuss their circumstances with Windermere on 0408 521 320.
There is also a wealth of information on Council's Recovery website at 

Helpful contact information

Yarra Ranges Council - Community Recovery Team
For a range of support services and advice, contact Yarra Ranges Council's community recovery team.
1300 368 333
Bushfire Recovery Victoria Storm and Flood Hotline
Access your own Recovery Support Worker
Mental health and wellbeing support
Financial counselling support
Information on available payments
1800 560 760
Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EMOV)
For resolving complaints about electricity, gas and water companies. Free for Victorian customers.
1800 500 509
EACH Financial Counselling Service
Financial counselling is a free and confidential service available for anyone affected by an emergency.
9871 1817
Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC)
People living in the Yarra Ranges can seek free legal advice from ECLC.

1300 325 200
Material Aid
If you are experiencing hardship, information on where to access material aid and other services can be found on Council's website.
The Insurance Council of Australia is the general insurance industry body. Following disasters, we work closely with the community, government and insurers to help residents recover.

Please contact your insurer with any claims questions you may have. For general information, you can contact the Insurance Council of Australia on:

1300 728 228. 

National Debt Helpline
The National Debt Helpline is a telephone financial counselling service open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

The financial counsellors at the National Debt Helpline can put you in contact with your local face-to-face financial counselling service.

1800 007 007

Recovery Hubs

Appointments are now available through the Yarra Ranges Council Recovery Hub at Karwarra Gardens. Please call Sue Jack,

Recovery Centre And Outreach Coordinator to arrange appointments or to ask any questions you may have.

Karwarra Gardens Recovery Hub - 0477 056 265  

Renters Assistance
Tenant advice line 9416 2577
Monday to Friday 10.00 am – 2.00 pm
Free and independent phone and internet complaint services
1800 062 058
Yarra Valley Water
If you’re concerned about being able to pay your bills, Yarra Valley Water can offer extra support and flexibility to suit your situation.
1800 994 789
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