Bobin's Kim MacDonald said she was shocked and overwhelmed to win an award at the 2020 Regional Achievement and Community Awards.
Kim, who is vice president of the Bobin School of Arts Hall committee, was announced the winner of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award during an online presentation last Friday, November 20.
Kim was nominated for the award by the hall's treasurer Mark O'Brien for her outstanding contribution to the hall and for going above and beyond her duty following the November 2019 bushfires.
Though Kim lost her own home in the blaze which destroyed a total of 18 homes in Bobin, she continued to help set up the hall as a bushfire recovery centre for emergency services personnel and for those who had nowhere else to go.
Related: Remembering the Bobin bushfire
Kim is quick to point out it was a team effort which saw the Bobin Hall become such a well managed and important asset during the disaster.
The award is a victory Kim is keen to share with the community.
"It is great for Bobin," she said.
"The money will go to the hall which is fabulous."
Kim plans to spend her $1000 prize money on new flooring at the hall.
She has worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to see improvements at the hall to ensure it is preserved for the future.
Kim moved to Bobin nearly 12 years ago and has been vice president of the hall for the past three years.
She was on the committee prior to that and says she was the resident lawn mower.
Kim has enjoyed her many years of being part of the vibrant community.
"I wouldn't want to live anywhere else - I love the people," she said.
Kim points out the close knit community has been further strengthened by the fires.
"The whole situation has bonded everybody more and brought out the best in people," she said.
November 8 marked the one year anniversary of the fire and it was an occasion to reflect on all that has been achieved since.
The hall has been at the heart of the recovery and Kim is grateful it was saved from the fire.
I wouldn't want to live anywhere else - I love the peopleKim MacDonald
"It's really important, not just for the history or the events that are held there, but it's our community meeting place and it's all that we've got," said Kim.
"If we'd have lost it, the whole community would have been fractured."
The Bobin School of Arts Hall was a finalist for the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) Crown Land Manager Excellence Award.