NSW Governor Margaret Beazley toured Batlow on Thursday, holding private meetings with local community groups and visiting Batlow Technology School.
The Governor and her husband, Dennis Wilson, first visited the town in March 2020 and returned in order to check on the town’s post-fire recovery.
“Dennis and I were so pleased to be able to return to Batlow with travel restrictions easing,” said the Governor.
“We visited in March last year following the devastating fires of January 2020 and planned to come back as quickly as possible, to reconnect with local people to hear first-hand how the town and surrounding areas had been recovering.”
The Governor mentioned her time at the local high school as an especially moving part of the visit.
“We were very grateful for the frank conversations we were able to have about impacts on families and business, and to hear about the more recent challenges of Covid,” she said.
“Spending time with the students at Batlow Technology High School was a highlight, an opportunity to understand the perspective of younger people regarding the impact of the fires and to also learn about their hopes for the future.
“It was a productive day for us and we trust also for members of the local community.”
Max Gordon-Hall, President of Do It For Batlow, said his group had a productive meeting with the Governor towards the end of her visit.
“It was such a great time to see these prominent people visiting our little slice of heaven and taking an interest in what we do and what we plan to do into the future,” said Mr Gordon-Hall.
“It was great to see the Governor and Mr Wilson return to Batlow to see how the town and people are recovering. We feel that it’s important that Batlow isn’t forgotten and that what has occurred in January 2020 must be appropriately acknowledged and supported by all people.”
Mr Gordon-Hall said the meeting was an opportunity to explain the group’s purpose, progress and upcoming challenges.
Also in attendance were Vice President Rob Ironside, Secretary Cara Ironside and members Margaret Sedgewick and John Connors.
“The hour-long meeting was very informative and progressive and many topics were raised including issues with grant funding, Donation Gift Recipient status, incorporation and our general model of operation,” said Mr Gordon-Hall.
At the meeting, the Governor and Mr Wilson were presented with a DIFB Community Calendar and the recent-published High Country Cider, Wine and Food Trail brochure, both of which raised “many wonderful talking points” about the local area and the efforts of the grassroots organisation, ‘Do It For Batlow’.