Australia's devastating bushfires have brutalised the small town of Mallacoota, in south-eastern Victoria and on NYE destroyed Justin's home.
Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out and offered help and support for Justin. He has been truly overwhelmed with the love and kindness and it means a lot to him at this time. I know I am only one of many who value the selfless, kind, funny, talented and generous individual he is.
There are many people who know the town of Mallacoota and what a special place it is and have been asking about wildlife and how the wider community is going up there. Some of you are frustrated that you can't come at this time and help personally. There's a lot to be done. It's only the beginning. I have included links for donations for that reason. A lot of you also may have been affected by the fires or have friends or family in similar situations. We are thinking of you all and hope you are getting the support you need at this time too. I think it's fair to say we have seen some of the best of Australian mateship in recent months.
Once again, thank you everyone from the bottom of our hearts for looking after our special friend Justin and the wonderful people and wildlife that make up Mallacoota.
Peace & love, Suzie Wells
P.S. If you want to send Justin a message you can find him on his facebook page: Justin Brady-Musician/Teacher
These fellas were regulars on the block. Mallacoota is a haven for wildlife and it's heartbreaking to contemplate how much wildlife has been lost and injured in these fire. We hope to see these beauties again soon.
There is a Vet from Healesville Sanctuary and a team of volunteers set up at the mudbrick community hall in town looking after injured wildlife. If you are wondering how you can help, donations are being accepted via the Zoos Victoria website.
You can find out more on this webpage: Experts and volunteers rally to save Mallacoota wildlife, DELWP website, 8 Jan 2020
Take care, SW
You may have heard, I am one of many who have lost their homes in the Australian bushfires. Here is what remains of my beloved shack. I managed to save my instruments in my boot. Most of the memorabilia is gone but the memories will never go. Thank you to everyone who has gone to the Justin Brady (Mallacoota) bushfire appeal GoFundMe page and contributed, you have all lifted my spirits and given me hope.
The JB shack was a very special place for many reasons (not just for me but for all who came to visit stay even if for just a cup of tea) A big part of that was the nature . Having a Koala with a baby on its back on a tree right in front of the veranda, was a regular occurrence as well as Lyre birds or birds in the bird boxes or a 2 metre goanna prancing around like a dinosaur was a real treat especially for the visitors from overseas.
There have been many nights by the fire with big cook ups of up to 15 people at once sometimes having a ball meeting each other for the first time. Thats why I love this place is and has become big part of who I am.
Justin Brady was in Mallacoota at the time the Victorian fire spread east on New Years Eve 2019. Justin had owned his small home in Mallacoota on a beautiful bush block for over 20 years and had recently decided to live there permanently.
When the fire threat became serious, Justin packed his instruments, including a violin, harmonica and mandolin with treasured possessions like 'The Brady Ranch Visitor's Book' which is a record of friends, family and travellers that had experienced the magic of the shack. He drove his car down to the lake in Mallacoota. He sought refuge for hours in, first a canoe, then a boat near a jetty where 50 people sheltered. "It was apocalyptic," he said.
Thankfully, he and others sheltering at the lake survived the firestorm. Justin said is deeply humbled by the extremely hard work done by the firefighters that helped to ensure everyone's safety.
Take care, SW
You can read more about the fires here: Mallacoota awakes to damage wrought by 'apocalyptic' fire, The Age, Anthony Colangelo and Ashleigh McMillan
You can donate to Victorian Bushfire Relief on the CFA website.
There is a Mallacoota Fires Support Fund GoFundMe page set up you would like to support the Mallacoota community directly.
Justin Brady is well known to Australian music industry as an electrifying harmonica player and multi-instrumentalist from Things of Stone and Wood. A prolific session musician and now music teacher, Brady has collaborated with John Farnham, The Black Sorrows, James Reyne and many more over the years. Recent collaborations include Wayne Dury and Delsinki.
Note: While Justin has a lot to contend with in Mallacoota at the moment after the fires, Suzie Wells will sometimes write posts for him.