With a keen interest to visit the fire-ravaged Far East Gippsland town of Mallacoota, Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, accompanied by her husband, Anthony Howard AM QC, made the trip last Thursday, February 6.
The couple received a warm welcome from the emergency service members who gathered at Mallacoota CFA station to meet her.
Her Excellency is the first female holder of the office of Governor of Victoria. Mr Howard is Patron of Australian Red Cross Victoria and the local Red Cross members were delighted to meet with him, presenting both he and the Governor with a Trauma Teddy each.
This was the first opportunity provided to the Governor to visit Mallacoota by the Emergency Management Commission. The Emergency Management Commissioner Victoria, Andrew Crisp, accompanied her also on her visit.
She spoke about her role as Patron of the 10th anniversary of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires commemorations and how they visited the areas afterwards.
“Things are not fixed overnight; the pain and trauma lingers,” she said.
She and her husband vowed to “keep coming back to Gippsland and not with cameras in tow”.
“It is all about listening to the people,” she said.
Both the Governor and Mr Howard spoke to the Red Cross ladies about their activities during the bushfire emergency, with the ladies explaining their duties that included the registration of 1100 people who boarded the HMAS Choules for evacuation to the Mornington Peninsula, as well as humanitarian assistance where needed.
The Governor chatted with various emergency service personnel, expressing her admiration and respect for all that they had done during the bushfires, re-emphasising her intention to return.
A 10-person US Incident Management Team has been based in Orbost since January 18, through a tripartite agreement that has been in place between the United States, Australia and New Zealand for 15 years. Two American Department of the Interior personnel, Jennifer Myslivy and Kim Martin, were introduced to the Governor during her visit.
IMAGE: Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, visited Mallacoota last week with her husband, Anthony Howard AM QC. While in town they spoke with locals and thanked emer- gency service volun- teers for their efforts during the recent bushfires as well as members of the Unit- ed States Incident Management Team currently stationed in Orbost. PICTURED: Jennifer Myslivy, of the USA, Anthony Howard AM QC, Vic- torian Governor, Her Excellency the Hon- ourable Linda Dessau AC, Kim Martin, from the USA, and Emergency Manage- ment Commissioner, Andrew Crisp. S50-188