WHAT'S ON

Clean Energy for Eternity helps Kiah rock on to support RFS

Surg are an up-and-coming avant-garde ukulele band with attitude. Photo: supplied
Surg are an up-and-coming avant-garde ukulele band with attitude. Photo: supplied

The best way to raise funds for a great cause is by having a great time in the process, and Kiah is inviting you to do just that this month.

A fundraising event called Rock on 4 Kiah will be hosted by Clean Energy for Eternity (CEFE) to raise funds to enhance the solar power on the Kiah RFS fire shed.

The event will be held on Saturday, June 26 from 12-5pm, with live music from four bands, who are generously donating their time for the worthy cause.

A new member with the Kiah RFS, Trent Bennett is helping organise the event, together with captain Matthew Allen and Prue Kelly, CEFE secretary and project manager

"It will be a great day filled with music, fantastic food and the community and surrounds coming together," Trent said.

"The main aim is to raise money for a battery bank for the Kiah Fire Shed. With a battery pack installed we can keep the show rolling if the power lines go down in an emergency."

Headline act Triply are a band of funk soul brothers from Southern NSW that are devoted to creating unique sounds. Photo: supplied.

Headline act Triply are a band of funk soul brothers from Southern NSW that are devoted to creating unique sounds. Photo: supplied.

Prue said CEFE was absolutely delighted to be heading to Kiah to meet the community.

"It's going to be a really fun day, we plan to lift the mood and see lots of smiling faces," she said.

"We fund our activities partly through our solar farm in Tathra, with all net proceeds channelled into other projects."

CEFE has recently held successful fundraisers for Rocky Hall and Wyndham fire sheds and were able to fund and install solar batteries in those locations.

"Kiah will be the 16th RFS shed we have set up on the Far South Coast. We really want to help our communities recover from the dreadful fires," Prue said.

CEFE founder Dr Matthew Knott will perform with his band Surg on the day, along with The Hops, Heath Marshall and headliner Triply.

Entry is by donation and hot food will be available to purchase throughout the day including three curry options, as well as other options for kids. Tea and coffee will also be available.

Celebrating the installation of solar panels on Kiah's fire shed in September of 2020 are RFS Superintendent John Cullen, the fire brigade's Jeff Browning, CEFE's Derek Povel and Lakeside Electrical's Paul Palacios. Photo: supplied

Celebrating the installation of solar panels on Kiah's fire shed in September of 2020 are RFS Superintendent John Cullen, the fire brigade's Jeff Browning, CEFE's Derek Povel and Lakeside Electrical's Paul Palacios. Photo: supplied

KIah RFS captain Matthew Allen said he was looking forward to the Rock on 4 Kiah event and very grateful for the support.

Brigade needs new blood

Matthew also spoke with ACM about the brigade's current search for new members.

"After the fire, everyone at Kiah has a lot more work to do around their houses to get back to a new normal. Everyone was affected, so it is a challenge to ask anyone for their time," he said.

"The reality is we still need an active fire brigade. There are still motor accidents and house fires that need to be dealt with."

Matthew said there was a possibility Bega Fire Control could move the Kiah RFS trucks elsewhere if there weren't enough members.

"They want to support Kiah as much as they can, they have been really supportive since the fires helping with training, and we can't fault them at all, but they only have a finite pool of resources," he said.

A widespread community with no real township, cut by the river, Matthew said it was a challenge to pull Kiah residents together and look after those assets.

Brigade members need to be able to get to the fire shed within 20 minutes of a call, which can also a problem with the wide sprawl over the locality, allowing for response time plus travel time.

"Any help would be great. You don't have to be on the end of the hose and could help organise events and keep the community going, the more people involved the better," Matthew said.

The brigade has about 25 members currently, but of those in last two years only seven or eight have been active regularly.

"So many were fire-affected, life at the moment is not allowing them to reconnect with the brigade," Matthew said.

"Being a member doesn't take a whole lot of time - we generally attend a training day and meeting once a month, with other training available on top of that through Bega.

"As a fire brigade we need to be able to reduce fire loads and do hazard reduction burns, without a brigade it is very hard to get approvals," Matthew said.

Those interested in supporting the Kiah Rural Fire Brigade and learning some new skills in the process can contact Matthew Allen on 0410 208 111 or email: matthewnfiona@gmail.com.

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