In our December issue, we highlighted the resilience of Minnamurra’s Bill Campbell, who overcame a harrowing childhood and set up the William Campbell Foundation to help the next generation of foster children.
That resilience is again being tested, with the devastating loss of one of the Foundation’s foster cottages on their 120 acre Nowra Hill property on New Year’s Eve. The flames completely destroyed the house and the surrounding land.
The cottage was one the first properties owned by the Foundation. It was used to house children and young people in Out of Home Care.
“This loss has left the Foundation heartbroken as this property holds wonderful memories of the many children who have lived there and the carers who gave such wonderful compassionate care to those children,” says Mr Campbell.
“Nothing can prepare you for the moment you visit the remains of your property. We feel profound compassion for all those who have experienced total loss in the bushfires. We do understand their pain and their grief.”
William Campbell Foundation used this property to help support children, and create opportunities for them by establishing programs that would develop their social and living skills as well as having access to educational support and mentoring.
The Foundation is thankful that the carers and children that live on the property are safe and sound.
“As you can all imagine, everyone here at WCF is shattered, but we will pull together and rebuild new beginnings and memories on our farm as soon as we can.”
The burnt out property is to be the location of the ‘special assistance’ school the Foundation had planned to build this year.
The school will provide educational support to children and young people who are unable to attend mainstream schooling due to a lack of literacy, numeracy skills and intellectual mental health issues that may have emanated from the abuse and neglect suffered in their young lives.
Their insurance claim for the property is currently being assessed. The Foundation expects the insurance will cover a rebuild of the house, however much more will need to be replaced.
Details: If you wish to make a tax deductible donation to the William Campbell Foundation, visit http://www.wcfoundation.org.au