To ensure the Inquiry considered the views and experiences of Victorian communities before, during and after the fires, the Inspector-General offered communities opportunities contribute.

  • Provide a submission
  • Join a community meeting
  • Join a focus group
  • Provide a one-on-one interview
  • Complete a survey

Thank you to those who contributed their views and experiences.


Community meetings

Community members provided feedback on the delivery and effectiveness of recovery activities 12 months since the fires through attending a local meeting or drop in for a cuppa-and-chat with Inspector-General Tony Pearce.

Thank you to everyone who joined one of 36 meetings held from 22 February through to 18 March.

You can read our latest community update to find out about the frequently shared themes or topics shared through these meetings.

Meeting locations

  • Sarsfield - Monday 22 February
  • Gelantipy - Tuesday 23 February
  • Buchan - Tuesday 23 February
  • Buchan - Tuesday 23 February
  • Tambo Crossing - Wednesday 24 February
  • Tambo Crossing - Wednesday 24 February
  • Clifton Creek - Thursday 25 February
  • Bruthen - Friday 26 February


  • Walwa - Monday 1 March
  • Corryong - Tuesday 2 March
  • Porepunkah - Tuesday 2 March
  • Dinner Plain - Wednesday 3 March
  • Kiewa Valley (Mt Beauty) - Wednesday 3 March
  • Myrtleford - Thursday 4 March


  • Lucyvale/Berringama - Tuesday 9 March
  • Biggara - Wednesday 10 March
  • Thowgla Valley (Corryong) - Wednesday 10 March
  • Cudgewa - Thursday 11 March
  • Towong - Thursday 11 March
  • Nariel Valley - Thursday 11 March
  • Tintaldra - Friday 12 March


  • Orbost - Monday 15 March
  • Orbost small business owners/operators) - Tuesday 16 March,
  • Cabbage Tree Creek - Tuesday 16 March
  • Mallacoota - Tuesday 16 March
  • Genoa - Wednesday 17 March
  • Wairewa - Wednesday 17 March
  • Omeo - Thursday 18 March


map of eastern Victoria showing meeting locations




Up to 30 March 2021,individuals and organisations were able to provide submissions, addressing the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference and matters for consideration, through online form, email or mail.

​​​​​​Online submissions could be provided in Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Filipino, Italian, Persian, and Vietnamese, in addition to English.

Any submissions received relating to Phase 1 of the Inquiry will inform an addendum to the Phase 2 report.



IGEM offered interviews to people affected by the 2019–20 bushfires in Victoria’s East Gippsland and North East regions, as one way to provide feedback to the Inquiry. These allowed IGEM to hear peoples’ specific feedback on topics relating to bushfire relief and recovery.

Interview format

Interviews were held by telephone or online, at no cost to interviewees.

Generally the interviews were one-on-one, although some included interviews with a partner, spouse or adult householders.

Interviews took approximately an hour, and were recorded and then transcribed. 

Interview participants received a copy of the transcript to check, and the final version treated as a submission to the Inquiry

The section 'How we use the information you provide' on this page explains how we use and protect personal information gathered during this Inquiry.


IGEM's community survey

The survey was another way to provide a way for communities affected by the 2019-20 bushfires in Victoria's Gippsland, North East and Alpine regions to describe their experiences of relief and recovery, and help inform the Fire Season Inquiry.

People could take the survey online or over the phone.

About the survey

The survey sought specific feedback on different topics relating to bushfire relief and recovery, and specifically relevant to people affected by the 2019-20 fires in East Gippsland and Victoria's north east. 

Impacts include (but are not limited to):

  • needing to seek shelter from the fires because you live, work or were visiting the fire-affected areas
  • experiencing damage or destruction of your home or property
  • having your education, employment or business disrupted because of the fires
  • experiencing damage or destruction in the community where you live or work
  • being affected by the disruptions caused by the fire to services such as power, water, telecommunications and roads 
  • being threatened by fires in the area where you live, work or were visiting
  • experiencing mental health or emotional impacts because of the fires.

How we use the survey information 

  • The survey results will be collated and analysed for trends and themes
  • Those completing the survey will not be named or identified in any reporting of the results, and providing any identifying information was voluntary.
  • Survey responses become the property of the Inspector-General for Emergency Management
  • The Inspector-General for Emergency Management may publish, quote or summarise de-identified information provided in the Inquiry reports
  • The Inquiry reports will be provided to the Victorian Government.


How we use the information you provide


About sharing your views and experiences

To make sure the Inquiry considered the views and experiences of the community before, during and after the fires, the Inspector-General invites individuals and organisations to share their views and experiences addressing the Terms of Reference / 'matters for consideration'.

The Inquiry was conducted over two phases: Phase 1 - preparedness and response (completed 31 July 2020); Phase 2 - relief and recovery arrangements (completed 30 July 2021).

Your experiences

In addition to the Inquiry’s ‘matters for consideration’, IGEM were invited individuals and organisations to share: 

  • how the 2019-20 Victorian fires affected you 
  • what worked well in the delivery of emergency relief and recovery activities during the first 6 months
  • what did not work as well as expected or preferred
  • suggestions for improvement
  • impacts of COVID-19 pandemic during bushfire recovery. 

The views and experiences the Inspector-General hears helped inform his recommendations that - if implemented - will bring better outcomes for Victorians. 

Read about IGEM's use of relief and recovery in this Inquiry.


How we treat submissions and information gathered through the Inquiry


  • Your submission will become property of the Inspector-General for Emergency Management
  • With your permission, submissions may be published on the website
  • Let us know if your submission is to remain anonymous and/or confidential
  • You do not need to provide any identifying information unless you want to
  • Personal details and sensitive information will be removed from published submissions unless you ask for your name to be published
  • The Inspector-General for Emergency Management will not publish submissions if it believes that the submission material is (or could be) defamatory, offensive, contravenes anti-discrimination or anti-vilification legislation or is outside the scope of the terms of reference
  • Material provided is made public subject to the rights of the copyright owner. No material should be reproduced or otherwise published without the prior consent of the relevant copyright owner


  • The Inspector-General for Emergency Management may publish, quote or summarise information provided by you in the Inquiry reports
  • The Inquiry reports will be provided to the Victorian Government
  • None of our reports include any identifying information