About us

We are located in East Gippsland with our base in the town of Buchan, approximately 75km north-east of Bairnsdale. We are home to the famous Buchan Caves Reserve and on the edge of the beautiful Snowy River National Park . In 2019-2020 our district suffered through the extreme bushfire event.

The Buchan Gelantipy & Districts Renewal Association was formed as a result of the bushfire events of 2019/2020. Our representative group of community members were brought together to voice their community’s needs in recovery. Our purpose is to get individuals and communities back on their feet as a result of the bushfire events by:

  • Providing for and advocating on behalf of the needs of the community
  • Identifying and addressing any shortfalls arising in and from this bushfire event
  • Creating a Community Renewal Plan that strives for the betterment of the community
  • Endeavouring to increase economic activity within the community

As at March 2021 we have 160 members in our Association.

The current timeframe for the Association is three years. We are an Incorporated Association known as the Buchan Gelantipy and Districts Renewal Association Incorporated.

Creating the Association and Election of the Committee

Over a five week period during January and February 2020, as a community, we committed to establishing a representative group that would advocate and speak for our community’s recovery priorities. The key steps in establishing our Association and Committee included:

• Calling a meeting with all Presidents/ Chairperson of the existing club network across our District to discuss a proposed way forward including the number of people to be nominated to the Committee (3 February 2020)
• Holding a community meeting to propose recovery approach and seek broad community support (10 February 2020)
• Calling for general membership of the newly established Association (yet to be named) from 10 February to current
• Calling for nominees for the Committee of the Association (10 February – 17 February)
• 24 nominations were received representing a wide geographical spread of the District
• Ballot papers circulated online and in post from 21 February and closed at 5pm 27 February. Each general member was entitled to one ballot paper and could mark up to 11 nominees.
• 92% of the ballots were returned based on the general membership at that time.
• On 28 February 2020, the 11 highest vote nominees were elected to the Committee

The Inaugural Meeting was held on Monday 2 March 2020 at the Buchan Recreation Reserve.

You can get in touch with the committee via our contact us page.

Committee members

Katherine Hodge – Chairperson
Bring knowledge of procedure and practice from extensive experience as a public servant.
Anne Brewer – Secretary
Anne Brewer, Bush Nurse Centre Manager, Buchan Bush Nursing.  Strategic thinker with range of community knowledge.  Aware of acquittal processes, budgets and the need to maintain professional boundaries. Interested to see the community both recover and renew after the recent fire disaster on top of significant drought.  Prepared to challenge the processes that do not work for the community members for better outcomes.
Kirstie Pearce – Treasurer
Kirstie grew up in Butchers Ridge and has spent most of her life in East Gippsland. She is an Accountant and Human Resources Practitioner with extensive experience in the not for profit sector.  She has a passion for her community and is on a number of local committees.
Donald Graham – Vice Chairperson
Working life with my brother developed a 6000acre Angus breeding operation on King Island. Community Involvement – KI District High School P and F, School Council, Music Program, Chairperson KI Natural Resource Management Group. Moved to Buchan 5 years ago with my wife Bron.
Annemarie Henderson – Lives in Gelantipy and works in Buchan. And was affected by the bushfires.
Chris Cooper – I would like to see a fair and even distribution of views from the whole district. I am a grazier and also have extensive experience in project management and construction.
Donna Mraz – I hope to contribute to the renewal of the Buchan District and feel confident that my values/ professional experience will add value to the committee including: experience in working with/ on committees and in workplace teams; understanding issues from different perspectives and incorporating into sound decisions; ability to be goal/future orientated.
Janice Coates – Community interest, ability to listen, understand and look at the big picture. Background in engineering, agriculture and education.
Julie Sutton – I would like to assist the WHOLE community to recover. Having grown up, raised my children and lived in the area most of my life, I am keen to see the area prosper in the future.
Rocio Levings – Community member of W Tree. Buchan Kindergarten Teacher. Interested in the wellbeing of our young people, natural environment and community spirit.
Greg Brick – Local business owner and tradesperson with a range of skills and abilities on the ground as well as experience in working with community and external organisations.

How the committee works

Since we established the Committee, we have met both regularly and on an as needed basis.  Generally we meet every fortnight on a Tuesday night.  The restrictions enforced during COVID has meant that we have been meeting online (via Zoom) but we have also been meeting in person or a combination of the two.

Given everyone is leading such busy lives, we have limited the meeting length to 1 hour and follow a prepared Agenda to ensure each meeting is productive and structured.  We try to stay strategic in our discussions and thinking but we know that our community needs us to also support individuals through the recovery and rebuild process.  This means that we create small working groups outside of our scheduled meetings and engage with industry and government to find common understanding and sometimes compromise.

Read minutes from our previous meetings here

One of our very first tasks was to develop the rules in which we would work.  We have mostly adopted the standard Model Rules – we just made a few tweaks to suit our needs! 

Read our Model Rules for an Incorporated Association (link below) for more information on how we operate our committee.