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Australia Wildfires

For One Australian School, Repairing Classrooms Came First. Then Mental Health.

Australia's bushfires created massive impacts on communities, including those where lives and property were lost. Administrators at Buxton Public School are working to support elementary students as long-term recovery continues.

Volunteers help repair the playground at Buxton Public School after the bushfires scorched the school in December. Now, school staff are prioritizing the mental health of the students as part of long-term recovery. (Amarica Rafanelli/ Direct Relief)
Volunteers help repair the playground at Buxton Public School after the bushfires scorched the school in December. Now, school staff are prioritizing the mental health of the students as part of long-term recovery. (Amarica Rafanelli/ Direct Relief)

In Australia, New South Wales,  firefighters have contained or extinguished all fires in the state. The milestone comes months after the bushfires erupted in September and swept across the country, claiming more than 30 lives and destroying over 3,000 homes. In Buxton, New South Wales — a town of just 2,000 people — residents have started to rebuild after the fires raced through their town in December. Flames scorched homes and razed properties, forcing widespread evacuations. While local families have returned, they face a long recovery ahead. To help support their children, one school is revamping its curriculum.

On this episode of the podcast, we take look at how Buxton’s Public School is using mental health initiatives to support their students after an unprecedented bushfire season.

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Buxton Public School in New South Wales, Australia. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

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