"My 3 children attend Tarlee Primary, where Tracey is the school Chaplain. We live near Tracey, and immediately after the Pinery fires she came over to check on our family and to see that we were ok, and if there was anything we needed. I know Tracey also checked on a lot of other families within our community. I felt cared for and reassured that we would all get through this together.
The Pinery Fires have affected my 3 children emotionally. One has nightmares, and is often screaming through the night. The oldest was quite distressed that we couldn’t take all our animals with us, and that they could have perished had our house burnt down. My two younger children were often drawing our house on fire, and using their toys to re-enact us evacuating our home. I think the constant smell of smoke in the weeks afterwards made them on edge and frightened there would be another fire.
Tracey was often at school in the mornings ready to talk to any kids who were upset or anxious - which was a massive help to my children as they dealt with their emotions and feelings and also feeling safe.
The Stormbird sessions Tracey ran at the school enabled my children to talk about the feelings they had during and after the fires. It was a safe place for them to share what they had experienced. It helped them recognise their feelings, physical reactions and behaviour afterwards - and that it is normal to have those feelings. It helped them to understand that change is a natural part of our lives and things get better. It taught them how to distract themselves when they were feeling sad/anxious and do something positive that they love doing. It helped them realize that after a natural disaster we move forward and are more prepared if anything was to happen again. Tracey has been a huge asset to our community through her role as a Chaplain. She has been able to provide and organise counsellors and guest speakers to visit homes, schools and public venues - to help families to connect with services to support them as they deal with the aftermath of the fires.
Tracey has been a huge support to my family in helping us all cope with what happened. The calming effect she has on my children has helped make them feel safe and calm and provided them with a caring person to talk to. Tracey has helped me understand what my children are feeling and has been able to assist and guide me on how to support them.
We appreciate Tracey’s continued guidance, pastoral care and listening ear as we still work through the emotions and scars of the Pinery Fire."
‘When Disaster Strikes’ is proudly supported by Program Partners Beyond Bank Australia and Paradise Motors Mazda.
Your tax-deductible gift to the ‘When Disaster Strikes’ program will have a positive impact in the lives of children, families and communities like Jessica's, who are struggling after a disaster or crisis by funding emergency Chaplaincy Services like Tracey provided in her community during and after the Pinery Fire