Dialog Box

CatholicCare Victoria

Bushfire Community Recovery Service

Long-term mental health and wellbeing support

The Bushfire Community Recovery Service provides counselling and community outreach support in remote bushfire-affected regions of East Gippsland.

Families, individuals, schools and communities affected by the Black Summer bushfires can access support through this program.

Access Support Now 

Mother, father and young son walking in the bush.

Outreach support for remote communities

Disaster recovery is a long process.

We know that families and individuals in East Gippsland have seen unspeakable devastation - their homes have been ravaged, their schools have been destroyed, and the lasting fear and trauma has had a significant impact on the wellbeing of many.

We’re here to offer the long-term support, care and hope families and individuals need as they begin rebuilding their lives.

Our Bushfire Community Recovery Service team can provide support and outreach services to regions across East Gippsland including:

  • professional and trauma-informed counselling for individuals and families
  • wellbeing support in schools
  • colour and creativity workshops and other therapeutic workshops/events
  • workshops with children
  • coffee and connect visits with communities or at community events
  • WiFi accessible services
  • referrals to community support services

Access counselling or join us for a coffee and chat

Talking to a counsellor can help you and your family make sense of the trauma, loss and grief experienced as a result from the bushfires.

Whether you decide to access counselling in a confidential setting, or chat with us during a visit with our Community Connection Van, speaking with a counsellor can help you with a range of issues including:

  • addictive behaviours
  • anger management
  • anxiety, stress or depression
  • caring for others
  • change
  • children and teenagers
  • family violence and conflict
  • separation and divorce
  • loss and grief
  • mental health
  • relationships and family
  • school refusal
  • trauma

Relationship strain and breakdown can also come as a result from trauma and loss experienced from the bushfires. Counselling can help to rebuild strong, positive relationships and help you work through the tough times together.

Our qualified counsellors can work with children, teenagers, adults, families and couples. Our counsellors also support people of all cultural backgrounds, genders and religious beliefs.

Community Connection Van.

Photo: The Bushfire Community Recovery Service Community Connection Van

CatholicCare Victoria is skilled and experienced in supporting bushfire recovery

Following the Black Saturday fires of 2009, CatholicCare established the Bushfire Community Recovery Service; a three-year effort to bring counselling, community rebuilding activities and pastoral care to the affected families of the Shire of Murrindindi.

We know that the communities affected by the Black Summer bushfires are closely knit, and know what will best help them to restore fellowship and community.

The Bushfire Community Recovery Service is responsive to these needs, delivering help where the community decides they need it most.

How do I access this service?

Individuals, families, schools and community groups can access this service by contacting one of our Gippsland offices.

Community service organisations and health professionals can make referrals into the Bushfire Community Recovery Service by contacting us.


There is no charge to access this service.

This service is proudly supported by Catholic Emergency Relief Australia (CERA); Archdiocese of Melbourne and Diocese of Sale parishioners; Melbourne Catholic Archbishop's Charitable Fund; Frank and Helen Swan; Coast to Country 4x4; and Dwyer's Toyota.

More information

BCRS flyerBeyond Black Saturday Report

Client Rights and Responsibilities Child Safety at CatholicCare 

Contact us

The Bushfire Community Recovery Service provides support in Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Pakenham, Traralgon and Warragul with outreach to other remote areas across East Gippsland.

To make a booking or enquire about this service, please contact us:
T 1800 522 076



Other services

You might also be interested in some of the following services offered at CatholicCare Victoria: