I am happy to report that we’re up and running for the new year, with our first networking event for the year being the Pub Night at Innocent Bystander on Wednesday 29th January. For those of you who were unable to attend, we had another great evening enjoying the hospitality of Hugo and his staff. The networking was in full flow, not only with familiar faces in the network, but also with new faces – either recently joined members or those attending their first Pub Night. Of the over 50 attendees, nearly 40 stayed on for dinner to continue the vibrant conversations and discussions. The facility for informal communication between members in a relaxed environment is one of the greatest attributes of the Pub Nights – and long may they continue! Elsewhere in the newsletter you will be able to find the details of our February Networking Event – a breakfast event at Yarrawood Estate Winery. I hope to see you there!
The compositions of the new sub-committees for Finance & Membership, Networking & Events, Communications, and Conference have been decided. I would also like to encourage any members who think they might like to join or have ideas to contribute to the work of these sub-committees to contact any of the committee members. We have added many new members to the organisation over the last few years and we would be happy to hear new ideas about what you would like to get from the network, as well as what you feel you can contribute.
Whilst we have been enjoying some lovely summery days in the last week, we should not lose sight of the fact there are still bushfires raging in different parts of the state and across South Eastern Australia. Whilst thus far our small part of the state has largely been spared the direct impact of the fires, I’m sure our thoughts go out to those unfortunate to have suffered first-hand the impact of the fires. However, I am also aware of the indirect impact that this very active bushfire season is having on many of the member businesses within TNYV, in terms of the reduced visitor numbers to our region and the effect the recent increased frequency of smoke haze and poor air quality has had on the activities of visitors already in our region.
Please do what you can to help your fellow businesses and encourage one another, and the visitors with whom we have contact, to continue to be vigilant and bushfire aware – this bushfire season still has a long time to run.
2020 Sub Commitees
Networking & Events
Supporting the community
YRT Bushfire Workshop
Our Committee Members Rebecca and Caroline both attended the Yarra Ranges Tourism Bushfire Workshop last week. Thank you to YRT and the CFA for conducting the morning, it was an extremely informative session. We would recommend you attend if there is another one planned in the future.
We’ve listed below some points to help you prepare your business to be fire ready.
• Risk Management – Surviving & protecting life is the priority
Develop an emergency plan. Write it down and practice it.
Ask the questions –
1. What needs to be done?
2. Who is going to do it?
3. Where are the guests / clients going to go?
4. What equipment do we have already and what do we need?
5. What is your procedure for high-risk / extreme weather days?
Check your insurance policy –
Would your home or business be covered in the event of a bushfire or natural disaster? (Check your T&C’s)
Prepare your home & business before the peak fire danger period (January-March for the Yarra Valley) –
1. Mow the grass often and keep it green
2. Clean up the bark, branches & dry leaves from around the property, especially after storms and windy conditions
3. Remove dead bushes and keep vegetation away from external walls
4. Take doormats inside and remove umbrellas & furniture from the deck
Know your local area and where to get advice –
1. Download the Vic Emergency App
2. Points of last resort are located at Queens Park, RACV Club Healesville, Yarra Glen Racecourse & Warburton Recreation Reserve (Check Yarra Ranges website for more info)
3. Listen to your local radio station for updates, ABC 774 or Sky News
In the event of a bushfire in your area –
1. Dress appropriately in natural fibres (long pants & shirt), leather gloves, closed shoes, cotton broad brim hat
2. Pack a torch, basic first aid kit, 2lt water, wool blanket, portable radio, mobile phone and charger (keep in the car, not the boot)
3. Don’t expect a formal warning, emergency apps can take 15-20 min to report incidents. Be alert – What do you smell? What is the wind doing now and throughout the day? Can you see smoke?
4. Advise guests to move to a safe open location (carpark or large winery)
5. Be aware that animals will be fleeing the fire as well
6. Stay off the roads to allow emergency services clear access
7. Stay up to date with road closures
What’s Happening around the Yarra Valley over Summer….
Medhurst Summer Wine Dinner
Industry Night @Edible Forest
5.30pm – 7.30pm
DRTN ‘Chat & Chew’
Warratina Lavender Farm
Yarra Ranges Business Workshops
Feb 26 – Simple steps to build a website
April 29 – SEO foundations
May 13 – Digital Marketing
March 26 is the first workshop
Thank you to all our members for your continued support over the last year and for helping make the Yarra Valley a must visit destination. 2020 is shaping up to be a wonderful year for our region however with all the publicity on the fires of late, many regional tourism areas including ours have been affected with visitor numbers dropping. Tourism Australia in conjunction with Visit Victoria, have launched the campaign ‘Holiday Here This Year’. We can do our bit to support this campaign by using social media channels to let visitors know we are ‘open for business’. Highlight yourselves and your businesses, local wildlife, show you are ready to welcome visitors and tag FB: @yarravalleyanddandenongranges Insta: @visitdandenongranges and @visityarravalley_official
If you have a venue that would be suitable to host one of our TNYV Pub Nights or breakfasts this year, let us know! We’d love to visit and promote your business amongst the TNYV Community. This year we will also be conducting 3 ‘Famil’ tours, visiting 4-5 member businesses on each one. Let us know if you are interested in hosting or attending one of these tours. Dates to be confirmed. Keep an eye out for our Famils survey heading your way shortly.
Till our next newsletter, enjoy the Summer and stay safe.