One year ago fires blazed across many parts of Australia, wreaking havoc and causing unfathomable devastation.
One of the hardest hit areas was the Southern Highlands in New South Wales.
The Green Wattle Creek fire that tore through the area burned in excess of 270,000 hectares of land, devastating quiet rural neighborhoods including Balmoral, Bargo and Buxton.
Sadly, two members of the Horsley Park Rural Fire Brigade lost their lives trying to stop the Green Wattle Creek fire in Buxton.
To honour their service and bravery, the township raised enough money to build a commemorative children’s playground.
The playground resembles a fire truck and is modelled off the same truck that was used to help extinguish the Green Wattle Creek fire.
Through its Bushfire Recovery Grants program, Commonwealth Bank donated $45,000 to the Buxton Rural Fire Brigade to help build the memorial playground.
Kim Hill, a member of the Buxton Fire Brigade and co-ordinator of the memorial playground, said Commonwealth Bank’s donation had helped build the playground as a fitting tribute to those men who had sacrificed their lives during the last bushfire season.
“The community wanted to pay tribute to Rural Fire Service volunteers, Mr Andrew O’Dwyer and Mr Geoffrey Keaton, of Horsley Park Brigade, who tragically lost their lives in Buxton on 19 December 2019 in their efforts to protect the community from the Green Wattle Creek Bushfire,” she said.