Children's Book on Surviving Bushfires

Published on 11 July 2019

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A unique children’s story book about surviving bushfires is set to hit the shelves of South West schools and libraries across Victoria.

‘Wednesday is Jim Day’ was written by South West resident Catherine McLeod and tells her story of surviving the Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983. Originally written in response to the ‘Ash Wednesday 30’ project, a state government initiative in 2013 to mark the 30-year anniversary of the fires, the book has now been published and Ms McLeod has donated copies to libraries and schools.

Publication of the book was funded through the Moyne Shire South West Fires Recovery Project, and Mayor, Councillor Mick Wolfe said the book is a heartfelt story about disaster recovery, told through the eyes of a child.

“We’ve seen through our work with the Fire Recovery Van, that community connections help people recover after the significant trauma that can be experienced through bushfires,” Councillor Wolfe said.

“Motivated by last year’s St Patrick’s Day fires, Ms McLeod has now turned her story of surviving the Ash Wednesday fires into a book for children across the state.

“The book takes readers on a journey from disaster to recovery and includes the uplifting message of how one person can make a difference.”

More than 150 hours were dedicated by local artist Andrea Radley to illustrate the book, which has now been published by Whortleberry Books.

“I would like to thank Ms McLeod and Ms Radley for donating copies of ‘Wednesday is Jim Day’ to local schools and regional libraries, and express how proud we are that this book was written, illustrated and published here in the South West.”

The book includes an afterword written by Craig Lapsley PSM, former Emergency Management Commissioner.