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Cap - Country Fire Authority, St Andrews, Victoria, 1997 Object Reg. No: HT 33148

CFA peak cap used for sun protection by Stella during CFA training events, from 1997 to 2009.

After Black Saturday Stella wore the cap constantly: 'I wore it because it was the only hat I had, and there was no shade here from the sun. Everything was so exposed. There was no shade from anything. You couldn't get out of the sun. ...that's why very rapidly it went the way it did, mainly because it was constantly in the sun. ... I think even two months afterwards we were still getting temperatures in the 30s. But you know, with those temperatures, we'd think, oh, it's only 30. It's not nearly 50. And that's what we think now. We think it's hot, well, it's not nearly 50, is it? And then we hear the wind speeds and they say 110 [km per hour], and you think, well, what was it? 130? 140? Black Saturday. And the temperature up here was close to 50. So anything below that, we think oh, that's OK'.

Alan and Stella Reid live adjacent to the Kinglake National Park. They created 'Wildhaven' in 1998, as a refuge and rehabilitation centre specialising in kangaroos, wallabies and koalas. The Black Saturday bushfires destroyed everything on their property, all of the animals in their care were killed, and their home and other buildings were razed. Stella is a member of the St Andrews CFA and was on active duty during the day; she witnessed her home go up in flames from across the valley. Alan, who was at home when the fire struck was lucky to escape without injury. The fire killed twelve of their neighbours, the 40-50 animals in their care, hundreds of animals in the surrounding properties, and (according to their estimate) up to 90% of the wildlife in Kinglake National Park.
Black baseball cap with round badge with CFA logo sewn onto the front.
Statement Of Significance:
This item is part of a collection relating to the experiences of Alan and Stella Reid following the devastating impact of the Black Saturday bushfires. In particular it helps provide insights into the community response through the variety of gifts and donations provided to survivors of the bushfires and the ideas of the types of needs they represented.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Ms Stella Reid - Wildhaven Wildlife Shelter, 2012
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: rural victoria, bushfires, emergency services, volunteers, wildlife rescue, rural women, wildlife
Themes this item is part of: Sustainable Futures Collection, Victorian Bushfires Collection
Primary Classification: SUSTAINABILITY
Secondary Classification: Natural Disasters
Tertiary Classification: bushfires
Issued By: Country Fire Authority (CFA), St Andrews, 1997
User: Ms Stella Reid - Wildhaven Wildlife Shelter, St Andrews, Victoria, Australia, 1997-2012
Date of Event: St Andrews, Victoria, Australia, 07 Feb 2009

Stella used the cap while on duty during the Black Saturday Bushfires.
References: Interview with Stella Reid, 4 Sep 2012

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