On 16 February 1983, it served as a refuge for 300 men, women, children and their pets (dogs, cats and goats). From the inside, the people looked out of the big windows and watched the town burning down. Firefighters made sure the bitumen roof didn’t catch fire.
In 2005 the kindergarten closed because the roof continually leaked since the 1983 fire damage. In 2011 the council decided to demolish it. The local community protested against the demolition and said it should be a memorial to those who used it in1983 as refuge.
Heritage Victoria was called in and, after a panel hearing in 2012, the building was heritage-listed for being significant to the State of Victoria. The community wanted the building to be refurbished to create an
Redevelopment of of the Ash Wednesday Bushfire Education Centre in Cockatoo
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