Kevin & Rhonda Butler
Bushfire recovery volunteers
VICState RecipientLocal Hero2010
After the Black Saturday bushfire tragedy of 7 February 2009, Kilmore East farmers, Rhonda and Kevin Butler put out a call for volunteers to help rebuild destroyed fences in the Kilmore East to Kinglake region. For more than nine months, from their simple shearing shed, Kevin and Rhonda inspired more than 3,200 volunteers from all over Australia and overseas to help rebuild fences on approximately 400 properties.
Working seven days a week alongside bushfire survivors, volunteers rolled up 700 kilometres of burnt fencing and rebuilt over 500 kilometres of fences – and ran out enough wire to circle the globe. Blaze Aid volunteers not only build fences, but help to restore the spirits of fire survivors who have lost loved ones, pets, stock, homes and property to the inferno. Working alongside the survivors and volunteers, Kevin and Rhonda have helped rebuild fences in weeks not months, providing friendship and support, instead of isolation and despair.