Victorians will gather for a commemoration service in February to acknowledge the significant impact of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires.

The anniversary will be a time for reflection as Victorians remember the catastrophic bushfires and the loss of 173 lives.

Many more were injured and lost their homes, with the memories of these events having long lasting impacts on a number of communities.

“These horrific events still impact on many communities and it is important we allow everyone to commemorate this anniversary in their own way. Holding this commemoration on this day allows individuals to have time for themselves or attend other community events during the week,” Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville said.

“We need to honour those who died, those who lost homes and those brave men and women who fought to save lives and homes,” Neville added.

A State anniversary commemoration will be held on Monday 4 February 2019 at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens. The event is being held on this date to allow for communities to hold their own events during the week or spend time with themselves during what will be a difficult time.

This will be in addition to a number of community commemoration services organised locally with funding support from the Andrews Labor Government.

The Labor Government is providing funding for various 10 Year Anniversary projects including:

  • A Community Arts Grants Program
  • A Commemoration and Community Development Grants Scheme
  • Targeted teaching and learning support for schools
  • Expanded mental health and psychological support services.

Consultations have been undertaken with survivors and the bereaved community about the State anniversary commemoration, and full details about the event will be released shortly.

“Over the past few months we have been speaking with, and getting feedback from, family and friends of those who died, the bushfire-affected communities, and emergency services personnel about this commemoration service and other initiatives to ensure they meet community expectations,” Minister Neville said.

For updates about the State anniversary event, please visit https://www.vic.gov.au/2009-bushfires

WATCH: Remembering what happened in 7 February 2009

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