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Fundraiser the first step in Nimbin's recovery from fire

LIKE the forest that is devastated by bushfire only to grow back greener and lusher, Nimbin is beginning to show its first signs of real recovery.

It came in the form of Saturday's Restoring the Heart fundraiser.

The entire community rallied together to restore something precious that had been lost.

For Nimbin born and bred Matthew Raikes, the founder and organiser of the Nimbin fundraiser, losing the Museum and Rainbow Cafe was like losing a home.

Mr Raikes said his mum Cathie Mcintosh ran a youth refuge at the back of the museum for nearly 10 years called Our Place.

REBUILDING NIMBIN: Tash Fuller, Jade Raikes, Alexis Raikes, Matthew Raikes, Taylor Raikes and Nina Boddenberg all had a big contribution to making Restore the Heart fundraiser in Nimbin a success.
REBUILDING NIMBIN: Tash Fuller, Jade Raikes, Alexis Raikes, Matthew Raikes, Taylor Raikes and Nina Boddenberg all had a big contribution to making Restore the Heart fundraiser in Nimbin a success. Nolan Verheij-Full

"I was living in there for a few years, so my heart still sits there," he said.

"It's like losing my house.

"It's made everyone heartbroken."

The fundraiser is hoped to be the first in a series aimed at restoring the town's centre.

Nimbin Community Centre coordinator Nina Boddenberg, who helped organise the event, said the support from the community had been enormous.

"After the fire there was obviously a lot of shock and sense of loss, so Matt really had the first inspiration to do something, to fundraise, but also to just lift the spirits of the town and bring people back together," she said.

"When we first started we were just going to do a small day, but it's had a huge amount of local community support and interest from all around the area.

LOST MEMORIES: Michael Balderstone trying to save a few items from the museum after the devastating fire in Cullen street in Nimbin.
LOST MEMORIES: Michael Balderstone trying to save a few items from the museum after the devastating fire in Cullen street in Nimbin. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

"We're also looking into crowd funding as a major contributor but at this stage we don't know what's possible."

Ms Boddenberg said the general community "feel" was that whatever is rebuilt needs to reflect the traditional Nimbin style but also the town's new image of environmental initiatives.

Nimbin local Tash Fuller, who helped out with the fundraiser, said she was proud of the way her community had come together and surprised by the generosity and support from outside.

"I'm amazed at people's generosity from outside," she said. "This has really brought it home for a lot of people that Nimbin is important."

Topics:  nimbin fire



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