We’ve been making cool tunes!!

This was filmed at the caravan park and gives an insight into how amazing an experience it was to have a full camera crew follow us around for a few days!

This song came about in a songwriting workshop on Wednesday – we explored themes of turning difficult times into art and how sometimes the purpose we find in life is at the intersection of pain and passion.

Our workshop host Chico Johnson is a multi genre’d artist, producing music in rap, gospel, hip hop, R&B… always with a keen social conscience and desire to stand up for what’s right and support others who may not have as loud a voice. He grew up in Barbados and now lives with his lovely family in Gippsland. Here’s one of his powerful songs Kneel With Me

The Johnson family came to Mallacoota because Danielle McAlpine Johnson is the producer of our documentary episode with her team CheekyMac. Check out more about that story https://sanctuarymyg.org/beyond-the-fires/ Chico offered to host the informal workshop to share creativity and healing and get to know each other and prepare for filming.

Everyone was really blown away by the talent, insightful song writing and positive energy to be found in The Sanctuary crew – we even surprise ourselves!

Everyone is welcome to join in and play in the Sanctuary band. We have been meeting up Saturdays for an informal jam session, and the Drop In space is available for use by any musical groups needing a place to get together. Just get in touch and come along!

The Sanctuary is featuring in an episode of Channel 10’s Beyond the Fire Series, coming out on January 2nd 2021

Last week we had the whole CheekyMac Productions team came to Mallacoota to interview and film us, to tell Australia about our positive work in response to the fires, and how we are supporting each other and our communities to recover and adapt to the events of 2020.

Check out the Website and Trailer HERE

Produced Airly, Ashley, Rowan and Kristin

Published 30th September 2020


The Education and Workplace Pathways
Grant assists young people looking to
continue their education or to support
those looking for work.
This grant could help with paying education
fees, accessing technology to support work
or education needs, or purchasing work
related attire such as safety gear.
To qualify, you need to:
• Be between 15 and 25 years old
• Have identification (or government letter)
to demonstrate that your residence was
in a bushfire impacted area, and proof of
residency (e.g. utility bill)
• Provide evidence of school or
course enrolment
• Provide evidence around your workplace
situation–this will be discussed with you
If approved for a grant, a bank statement or
internet banking screenshot, clearly showing
your name; bank name; BSB; and account
details, will be required. This is so we can
transfer funds to your account.
To apply or for more information, please
call The Salvation Army’s bushfire
disaster team on 1300 662 217 or email

Our Thursday Media Meet Ups have evolved!! Get involved https://sanctuarymyg.org/zoom

Today we submitted a grant application to the East Gippsland Shire Council for some start up funding for our MAD Local Legends project

We have some funding support from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal in Partnership with Sony Foundation – official announcement and more details to come!

The Sanctuary is working with key film industry professionals from Mallacoota and beyond to produce three short films on Mallacoota Local Legends for premier at an emerging & exciting grass roots film & arts festival ‘Mallacoota Random Acts’ in late Dec 2020. The primary aim of this pilot program is to develop a working model for ongoing film & media collaborations, projects & learning in the youth centre and throughout the broader community.


Check out Ashlee and Airly’s first starring and editing efforts


Our ambition is to have the first of many annual film festivals – featuring some locally made films and many more from the wide world – set up by the final week of December this year to be a poignant / funny / celebratory / healing commemoration of the fires and general upheaval 2020 has given us.

We are exploring ways to purchase a drive in cinema to be owned by the community to allow us to connect from the safety of our own cars even if COVID continues to keep us physically apart. We had one booked to rent for later this month but, alas, STAGE 3 HAPPENED!!!

We hope to invest in a community owned, portable drive-in cinema which will allow us to enjoy films or participate in webinars and community consultation in various suitable locations. During COVID it is an innovative way to meet immediate needs of getting together as a community to recover, connect and consult on our recovery decision while still creatively managing risk and respecting physical distancing measures. The first few events would be organised by the likes of ourselves and other Not-For-Profits and focus on safe community engagement, youth leadership and indigenous culture.