Trawool Estate and Kilmore’s BlazeAid finalists in national community achievement award

BlazeAid founders Kevin and Rhonda Butler.

BlazeAid and The Trawool Estate have been named as finalists in the Awards Australia Community Achievement Awards.

BlazeAid, founded by Kevin and Rhonda Butler of Kilmore East, is a finalist in the Community Group Award category.

The Trawool Estate is a finalist in the Business Achievement Award.

BlazeAid was established in 2009 following the Black Saturday bushfires which ravaged three kilometres of fencing at the Butler’s Kilmore East farm.

About 25 volunteers helped rebuild and repair the fencing – instead of a job that would have taken months, it took only a week.

Paying the favour forward after seeing more requests for assistance from the community, the Butlers set up BlazeAid to respond to natural disasters.

During the 2019-2020 mega fires, BlazeAid set up 45 camps across Australia to help fix destroyed fencing. Over the past 12 months, they successfully trialled a project where they taught and supplied farmers with native trees and grasses to regenerate their land.

The Trawool Estate opened in 2019 but only managed to operate for eight months being being shut down five times due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

Despite the challenges, owners Wesley and Terry Old remain dedicated to bringing high class experiences through food, beverage and accommodation.

They offer luxury hotel rooms and a restaurant that offers uninterrupted vistas of the Trawool Valley.

In July 2021, the Olds launched Turbine, an Asian restaurant and bar. Trawool Estate works in partnership with local industries and companies and their staff members has grown from 18 to 50 in the past 12 months.

Finalists will be presented, and winners announced at an awards gala presentation dinner on Friday, December 10, at Sofitel Melbourne On Collins.

Winners will receive either a $2000 Westpac Choice Account or an air time package on PRIME7 along with a trophy for category winners.

All finalists will go into the People’s Choice Award, which will feature on the Community Achievement Awards Australia Facebook page, where people can vote for their favourite finalist.

The people’s choice winner will receive an accommodation package from Sofitel Melbourne On Collins.