A team of 50 volunteers is on its way to the Bega Valley ready to roll up sleeves and help the community rebuild from the devastating summer fires.
The region suffered major damage in January, with the Badja Forest Road, Werri Berri, Big Jack Mountain Road, Postmans Trail and Border fires reaching almost 60 per cent of the area (540,000ha), destroying 448 homes, and taking the lives of four people.
In the community of Kiah, up to 10 people still do not have access to running water.
The project, lead by Connecting Communities Australia, will run from October 5-16 and will see highly skilled volunteers like qualified engineers and furloughed Qantas workers help residents and local organisations rebuild key infrastructure and repair community spaces.
In Kiah, the group will install new agriculture pipes to help residents access running water.
In Towamba, basketball hoops and a shade sail over the children's playground, a barbecue, bench table and chairs and a shelter will be built, providing a meeting place for the community.
Throughout the program, volunteers will also help locals with other repairs, clearing of debris, painting, gardening, and whatever else helps property owners get back on their feet.
Connecting Communities Australia CEO Glenn Price says some fire-affected communities still are not getting the right kinds of support.
"We've been working with the Bega community to figure out exactly how we can best help, and the program and volunteer team are built around that," Mr Price said.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of recovery efforts to a halt, but it was really important to us to find a way to keep working with Australians who've now been hit twice - first by the fires and then again by the personal and financial effects of the pandemic."
Connecting Communities Australia has delivered similar projects in Charleville, Nymagee and Goodooga, and is continuing to work with regional communities to meet their specific needs.
The Bega Valley program is supported by BlazeAid, Bushfire Community Recovery Services, Catholic Social Services Australia, Bushfire Recovery Headspace, The Black Dog Institute, Pambula Rotary, Pambula-Merimbula Lions Club, Bega Valley Shire Council, Services NSW, National Bushfire Recovery Agency, Wonboyn Ratepayers Association and Towamba Progress Society.