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Robert Irwin praised local children and youth as they celebrate their newly published book 'Sarsfield Snaps'

'Sarsfield Snaps' book launch and other highlights of the local project achievements.

By news@gippsland - 11th October 2022 - Back to News

Renowned conservationist, television celebrity, and photographer, Robert Irwin, praised local children and youth for their resilience, application and skills in a recorded address to 150 members of the Sarsfield community. The gathering was a celebratory launch of a coffee table book of photographs, the culmination of the bushfire-recovery project, Sarsfield Snaps.

Robert Irwin of Australia Zoo addressed the Sarsfield community gathering

Robert Irwin of Australia Zoo addressed the Sarsfield community gathering

Involvement on the project

Launched in the weeks after fire devastated Sarsfield, Clifton Creek and surrounds, Sarsfield Snaps brought more than sixty young people together, photographing the world around them and exhibiting in their local community, in Bairnsdale and at Melbourne Zoo. It also involved them making public addresses, planning and organizing, being interviewed by print and television media and in assisting children affected by forest fires in Greece.

Robert displayed and praised the newly published book, spoke of the life-affirming attributes of photography and expressed his admiration for the Sarsfield young people's achievements.

The community gathering, featuring food vans and entertainments, was addressed solely by the young people themselves during which they described and reflected on the project milestones and what involvement in it has meant to them.

Some of the Sarsfield Snaps participants display the project book and certificates

Some of the Sarsfield Snaps participants display the project book and certificates

Land and people resilience

Ten-year-old Hayden Andrews later spoke about his experience living in Sarsfield after the fires. As well as the implements needed to start the clean up, Hayden said the community needed to ask for support for the many things needed to move forward. He said a community member "asked for a couple of cameras so we kids could take photos. This multiplied and soon enough this became what we now call Sarsfield Snaps."

"I took photos of lots of things but some of the first photos I took were of the devastation that the fire caused" but "most of the photos I took were of the rivers and the regrowth of the land. These photos helped to show the resilience of the land and the people". It was those, he said, that were some of his favourite ones.

Book to look back on

Charlotte Biram, another of the project participants, thanked the project organisers for the "hard work and effort they put into the project. It has been" she said, "a wonderful experience for me not just meeting new friends but also being able to take photos of things I love."

Charlotte said that one of her favourite experiences was the trip to the zoo where she "got to see my favourite snow leopard and take more photos." She said it is wonderful to "get together for the end of the project where we were presented with a book to look back on in years to come with lots of happy memories."

Robert Irwin urged the young people to keep going ahead with what he described as a "positive, inspiring and up-lifting" initiative.

Bob Carter 0455 119 763
Information and interview: Tiana Felmingham 0408 079 208

The launching of the Sarsfield Snaps book

The launching of the Sarsfield Snaps book

Pictures from Sarsfield Community Association website.


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