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Cudgewa’s Community Hall is a place where people came together in a time of desperate need, to regroup and rebuild. 
But while the area around the Hall was significantly damaged by the Black Summer bushfires, the community’s spirit wasn’t; planning for the future became a priority and the Hall was a part of that focus.
“The much-loved hall needed an upgrade, to ensure that its facilities could cater for the community during times of disaster but also for joyful events such as music festivals,” explained Kiera Moloney, Trust Manager, Equity Trustees. 
The rebuilding of the hall was funded by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria and supported by the Community Rebuilding Trust (CRT) and the Business Council of Australia (BCA).
Cudgewa is one of the many community hall rebuilds being supported by the CRT. Four million dollars of funding is being distributed from the CRT for rebuilding works, with other sites located across South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
Recently, Kiera and her colleague from Equity Trustees, Caroline Rhodes, travelled to Cudgewa in northern Victoria to be present at the official re-opening of the town’s community hall by General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK CVO MC, and the President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Daniel Aghion. 
Kiera said: “The vibrancy of Cudgewa (or “Cudgy” to the locals) was on display for opening night. There was a real sense of optimism and renewal, even as stories of the bushfires’ devastating impact were shared. This community has worked so incredibly hard and given so much of their time to rebuild. Cudgewa Community Hall is where the community spirit shines.”
The CRT is one of two trusts that were jointly established by the BCA and Equity Trustees. The other is the Australia Volunteers Support Trust. Deloitte provides pro bono auditing services. 
The two trusts were set up in the wake of the fires that cost 33 Australians their lives, others their health, untold individual hardship and billions of dollars in lost property.
Today, funding continues to flow through to rebuild affected communities and businesses – with $14 million raised for various disasters through the trusts since they were established. These trusts provide a way for Australians to support those profoundly impacted by disasters.
Equity Trustees Managing Director, Mick O’Brien, said: “We manage more than 600 charitable trusts – many are nearly as old as we are. The CRT was structured so it could receive funds from the widest possible range of sources, including other charitable structures, to maximise the ability to channel funds to families, businesses and organisations impacted by Black Summer and future disasters.”
“Equity Trustees ensures the granting of these distributions, such as those that helped rebuild the Cudgewa Community Hall, are managed through established processes as an independent professional trustee.”
To read a previous update, click here and here, and for more about the Community Rebuilding Trust and to donate, click here.

Photo below on the left: Tracy Paul, Member of the Cudgewa Hall Management Committee 
Photo below on the right: L-R: Judy Fetter, Chief Executive Officer Jewish Community Council of Victoria; Kiera Moloney, Equity Trustees; General Sir Peter Cosgrove, BizRebuild; Leanne Close, BizRebuild; Mark Di Palma, BizRebuild.

Cudgewa Hall Management Committee