Men’s BBQ in Milton gives bushfire survivors an opportunity to talk and heal
Members of the Order of Malta visited the South Coast again this weekend to host a men’s BBQ to support victims of the bushfires.
Despite the 40 degree heat, 28 guests attended the BBQ at Mick Ryan Park in Milton, many of whom had lost their homes in the fires last summer and have had to continue to struggle through this year with the trials of COVID.
The Bawley Point Rural Bushfire Service also attended and squad commander Bob addressed the group about his personal experiences and how last summer’s fires personally affected him and his mental health. He spoke passionately about how it is OK to talk about your feelings and experiences, and how important it is to allow yourself to be vulnerable. His message resonated throughout the group and encouraged others to address the group of their feelings and where they are at in their mental journey of recovery.
“The idea of the BBQ was to reach people that may not necessarily visit the Story Telling and Healing Space in Milton” explained Frank Testa, Bushfire Relief Co-ordinator for the Order of Malta. “It was a magnificent opportunity for the men to sit around and chat and share their stories. I was told by one man that ‘this is the first time that I have really spoken about how I felt about it all”.
The BBQ was one of a number of initiatives of the Rising from the Ashes centre to assist the longer term recovery of bushfire affected communities, including the Story Telling and Healing Space in Milton, also supported by the Order of Malta. In addition members of the Order regularly visiting bushfire victims in Batemans Bay, Moruya and Mogo to provide friendship and support.