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Marking the firestorm


Activities commemorating the 10 year anniversary of the 2003 Canberra fires.

A close-up of bricks from the memorial wall at Mount Stromlo.

A close-up of bricks from the memorial wall at Mount Stromlo. Photo: Graham Tidy

Friday, January 18, 2013.

8.30am: A breakfast and launch of the Past Present Future exhibition at the Scope cafe on Mount Stromlo. The exhibition celebrates a "community's experience of birth and renewal". The exhibition is a centenary event. Speakers will include Chief Scientist for Australia Ian Chubb,Australian National University vice-chancellor Professor Ian Young, Scope director Simone Hunter, Duffy resident Ric Hingee, ranger Brett McNamara, Council of Small Business of Australia executive director Peter Strong, Centenary of Canberra creative director Robyn Archer and 666 ABC Canberra manager Liz McGrath. The official opening will be at 9am.

10am: The ACT Bushfire Memorial, on the corner of Uriarra and Cotter Roads, Weston, will host the official commemoration event put on by the ACT Government. Speaking at the event will be Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, Emergency Services Agency chaplain the Reverend Kerry Bartlett, former Canberra of the Year Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Pat Power and Jane Smyth, who lost her Chapman home in the firestorm.

People are encouraged to arrive by 9.45am. The ceremony is expected to run for 45 minutes. Parking will be available at Mount Stromlo Forest Park car park and will be clearly signposted. The memorial is about a seven-minute walk from the car park. A shuttle bus will be available from the carpark for people who need assistance.Bottled water will be available. Lifeline counsellors will also be on hand. The official party will plant a number of Centenary Correas at the conclusion of the event.

11am: ActewAGL will commemorate the 2003 Canberra bushfires with a photographic exhibition recognising the significant work of ActewAGL staff during the bushfire recovery effort. Tens of kilometres of electricity wires and 960 poles were destroyed or severely damaged, leaving 37,500 homes without power across 52 of Canberra's 123 suburbs. Some 6500 homes were also without gas. The Mount Stromlo and Googong water treatment plants were not operating and the sewerage treatment plant at Lower Molonglo was largely disabled.“Many ActewAGL staff showed heroic dedication to restore essential services, completing a year's worth of repair in just nine days. At the peak of activity there were 350 staff on the ground working on the recovery effort and many staff worked for nine days straight," ActewAGL chairman John Mackay said. The exhibition includes more than 70 images. The public is invited to view the exhibition on the ground floor of ActewAGL House, Bunda Street, Civic from 11am to 4pm on Friday.

7pm: The ABC 666 Now Hear This story-telling event with the theme Out of the Ashes will be held on Mount Stromlo. Seats for the event have already been reserved. There will be six local speakers.

8pm: The destroyed domes of the Mount Stromlo Observatory will be illuminated. The public is welcome to attend.

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