Home' The Bunyip : January 14th 2015 Contents "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Wednesday, January 14, 2015 Page 5
BUSHFIRE CRISIS AFTERMATH
GAWLER teen Emma Willescroft's
future is still unwritten.
The 17-year-old said she had always
enjoyed writing, but wanted to see where
university would take her.
"I think once I'm in there, and I find out
what I really enjoy....then I'll actually be able
to work out what I'd actually like to do from
that," she said.
Emma, who is hoping to score a place at
Adelaide University, studying media and
law, will be among thousands of South
Australian graduates awaiting the first round
of university offers tomorrow.
It may be an anxious wait for some, but
Emma is confident her Australian Tertiary
Admission Rank of 84.85 will be enough to
secure her a place in the media course, which
she hopes to combine with law next year.
The Xavier College graduate, who is also
one of The Bunyip's Generation Now writers,
said she was inspired by the popular blog
Humans of New York and wanted her work
to also give people a voice.
"I'd like to do something that's different
from what everyone else is doing," she said.
Emma said, currently, her dream was to be
an editor and a great writer.
Until university starts next month though,
the local teen said she would continue to
enjoy a well-earned break after achieving a
year 12 score she was "absolutely stoked"
"You spend the whole year working
and working, trying to get the best score,
competing with other students, your
friends," she said.
"And then at the end of the year, you just
get one little number and that one little
number is everything you've worked for.
"I'm really happy."
First round offers will be made to South
Australian university applicants by 5pm
Further offers will be made in late January
and throughout February.
Uni o ers
Local teen Emma Willescroft is hoping to study
media and law at the University of Adelaide.
PHOTO: Alec Urquhart
RECENT statistics from the Barossa
Visitor Information Centre show that
tourism is continuing to boom in the
region after a significant increase in
bookings and enquiries were recorded
over the Christmas holiday period.
Visitor centre staff and volunteers were
kept incredibly busy between Boxing
Day and January 4, and received a total
of 2,854 enquiries, a 17 per cent rise on
the same period last year.
Manager tourism services Jo Seabrook
said staff fielded 432 enquiries on one
day alone, while bookings for the month
of December were valued at $53,000,
compared to $36,000 for the same time
"This just highlights the confidence in
tourism for our region," she said.
"There is, no doubt, the Barossa Be
Consumed campaign has assisted in
building our tourism presence and is en-
couraging people to visit the region.
"During this financial year, we have
seen a positive trend with sales continu-
ing to increase, and also our tour book-
The newly developed Barossa Cycle
Hub was one of the popular attractions
over the holiday period, with new bike
hire provisions opening on December
30.Mayor Bob Sloane said council is con-
tinuing to make significant investment
and contribution to tourism in South
"Our award-winning visitor centre is
often the first port of call for many visi-
tors to the area," Mr Sloane said.
"Its reputation to provide excellent ser-
vice and advice really is a credit to staff
"It really is great to see this positive
trend of increasing tourism bookings and
Barossa tourism booms
AFTER a week of not
knowing what they would
come home to, Dennis
and Gwyneth Small were
relieved to find their
Inglewood house still
standing after the Sampson
Flat fire ravished the area.
The pair was evacuated on
Friday (January 2) and returned
a week later to find their house
had survived the fire that was
bearing down on it, while other
areas of their property were
According to Mr and Mrs
Small, the physical damage,
consisting of a destroyed back
veranda, carport, caravan, two
large sheds and one small shed,
does not begin to compare
to the emotional damage of
returning to your home of 25
years after its been charred by a
Mrs Small was about to tend
to her beloved garden when her
husband told her "we have got
to go, we have got to go now".
"I've always got a bag packed
by the front door, so I grabbed
that and our briefcase with all
of our papers," Mrs Small said.
"We drove out of the drive
and there it was -- the fire.
"I just burst into tears, I was
Mr Small described it as a
50-feet sheet of fire coming
Thankfully, their daughter,
Wendy Smith, had warned
them early enough to enable
them to evacuate safely before
the roads were blocked.
"If it wasn't for Wendy we
might not be here," Mrs Small
Last Friday, Mr and Mrs
Small were, finally, able to
return to their property and
what was left of their assets.
"We have got the house and
the car, that's it, everything else
is flattened," Mr Small said.
"When we saw the damage
and the fact that the house was
scorched, but still standing, it
was a relief."
Mrs Small, who likened the
now blackened surroundings
to a war zone, said the
whole forest was alight and
unstoppable and that "it is a
miracle (the house) isn't gone".
The pair said their house
would not have been saved
without the bravery and quick
action of their neighbours and
the Dalkeith CFS.
"We would like to thank
them from the bottom of our
heart," Mrs Small said.
"They are wonderful people
"They are putting their lives
at risk; fancy coming in to try
and fight this, they could all be
However, Mrs Small is
devastated to have lost 25 years
of garden and precious photos.
"In my grandmother's time
they used to have tin tea-chests
and I thought 'well, that's all
tin, the shed is all metal, I'll
put the wedding photographs
and all the kids' photos in
there, in case the house burns'
-- now we have no wedding
After seeing the property,
the pair is estimating it will be
weeks before they can properly
return and that they will just
be taking it "one day at a time".
"We have got to get the
water on, the power on and
everything needs to be cleaned
before we can move back in,"
Mr Small said.
"Everything you touch in
the house has got dust on it,
even the doorknobs in the
"There are just so many
different trades involved:
builders, plumbers electricians,
arborists and insurers -- and we
are not the only ones who need
Dennis and Gwyneth Small were relieved to nd their Inglewood house was still standing, although the re had come extremely close.
PHOTO: Alec Urquhart
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