Community Recovery Committee

As a result of the serious and widespread impacts of the recent bushfires, Alpine Shire Council and Bushfire Recovery Victoria have coordinated the formation of an Alpine Community Recovery Committee.

The Alpine Community Recovery Committee (CRC) represents bushfire-affected communities across Alpine Shire, ensuring that local know-how and expertise are front and centre in longer term recovery planning.

Coordinated by Alpine Shire Council and Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV), the Alpine CRC is an essential link between communities, Council and other support organisations to assist with recovery and planning into the future.

CRC representatives are vital in providing a conduit for community voices to be heard in recovery planning.

The representatives were selected following a month-long public Expression of Interest period, followed by interviews with panellists from BRV and Council.

Your Alpine Community Recovery Committee representatives are:

Myrtleford and surrounds

Sally McDonald

Sally has been a resident of the Myrtleford district for over 50 years, and has a broad interest in community development. A former Myrtleford Shire Councillor, former Chamber of Commerce President and former local business proprietor, Sally has been active as a community representative on a range of local and regional committees over many years.

With a commitment to the rural sector and conservation of our unique bushland environment, Sally is a current member of Landcare and Myrtleford Splash Park Committee.

Fiona Nicholls - Chair

A resident of the Ovens Valley for four years, Fiona is the current Vic Chair of the Into Our Hands Community Foundation and a member of the CSIRO Land and Water Advisory Committee. Fiona believes in the value of local business to support community health and wellbeing. 

She is keen to use her stakeholder management skills to bring a broad range of the local views to this committee.

Bright and surrounds

Bruce Hore

As the owner of an Information Technology and cybersecurity consulting business and Secretary of the Bright and District Chamber of Commerce, Bruce wants to see a successful Bright and districts, ensuring a sustainable and robust economy.

Bruce has represented Bright and District businesses to multiple Federal Government and business forums concerning business impacts to the area during the Bushfires, including the Prime Minister’s Bushfire Small Business Forum.

Kellie Gray

A local resident for more than 20 years, Kellie owns a real estate business which employs 10 staff. She hears a lot about how the bushfires impacted her tenants at residential properties as well as commercially for many of her business tenants.

Kellie is the president of the Bright Junior Football Association and treasurer Bright Courthouse Committee, a well as a committee member for Bright Little Athletics.

Harrietville and surrounds

Fiona Laird

As owner and Manager of Mountain View Retreat, Fiona is constantly in touch with all accommodation and hospitality properties in Harrietville, who regularly work together to plan and create events to benefit the community as a whole.

Fiona is a member of the Harrietville Community Forum, Australia Camps Association, Tourism North East and Victoria Tourism, and also assists with the Tronoh Dredge Committee when required.

Lachlan Thomas

Lachlan works in the events industry and has grown up in a tourism focussed family, so enjoys promoting his community as a destination. It is important to him that younger demographics are included in these initiatives for the betterment of our future.

Lachlan is currently an active member in the Harrietville Tronoh Committee as a voice for young people, and has attended committee meetings for the Harrietville Community Forum.

Kiewa Valley

Barbara Talbot

Barbara is a long-time resident of Alpine Shire and former proprietor of the Old Tawonga Store, a tour guide with Outback Spirit, station and restaurant cook at a number of food premises. She has witnessed many local natural disasters, including bushfires and floods.

Barbara is currently a member of the Mount Beauty Hospital and Kiewa Valley House Op Shop and Tawonga & District Community Association.

Dinner Plain

Malcolm McPherson

As a property owner at Dinner Plain since 1997, and resident for 13 years, Malcolm is an active downhill skier and volunteer Mountain Host.

A member of the Dinner Plain Residents and Business Operators Society, Malcolm was a member of the former Dinner Plain Management Committee for eight years. He was previously Chairman of Western Power Corporation and continues to be a non-executive director of an ASX listed company.

Mark Hubbard

As a long-time Dinner Plain resident and business owner, Mark is a member of the Dinner Plain Residents and Business Operators Society and former interim CEO for Falls Creek Resort Management Board.

Raised in Colorado, he has been an Alpine enthusiast all his life. Mark has spent more than 30 years as a director / company secretary / CFO in ASX listed companies.

Falls Creek

Dani Sheean

A permanent resident of Falls Creek for 17 years, Dani owns and operates an OHS consulting business and an accommodation property in Falls Creek. As part of the business stakeholder group in the resort, Dani has a broad network of stakeholders. 

She is currently a member of the Community and Health Advisory Group (Alpine Health) and CFA Women’s Reference Group.

Mount Hotham

Steve Belli - Deputy Chair

Steve is a hospitality and tourism business operator who runs a number of businesses in Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain. He is president of Mount Hotham Chamber of Commerce, which provides a voice for Mount Hotham businesses and some Dinner Plain businesses.

Steve is Deputy Chair of the Alpine Resorts Industry Advisory Group, which reports into the Minister for Environment via the ARCC.

Why a Community Recovery Committee?

The establishment of a Community Recovery Committee is a critical ingredient in supporting community-led recovery, so that affected communities can lead and drive their own recovery processes.

To achieve this, the Committee will:

  • engage and consult with affected communities to better understand their recovery needs and listen to their ideas. This includes providing hard to reach groups with opportunities to express their views
  • develop, implement and regularly update a Community Recovery Plan that addresses short, medium and long-term recovery priorities
  • keep communities informed of recovery issues, plans and actions arising from the Committee’s work and celebrate successes
  • advise Alpine Shire, Bushfire Recovery Victoria and other funding bodies on the allocation and prioritisation of funding for community projects and initiatives
  • advocate for community recovery needs with relevant agencies
  • assist with proposals to attract funding and resources to support community recovery projects
  • undertake, coordinate and monitor community recovery activities
  • maintain effective two-way communication on the community recovery process with Alpine Shire Council (and Council’s Recovery Committee for the whole municipality), Bushfire Recovery Victoria and other important stakeholders
  • share experiences and learning with other Community Recovery Committees around Victoria
  • contribute to evaluation processes that will improve future disaster recovery efforts.


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