The Humans of Kangaroo Island book is coming…

The Humans of Kangaroo Island project has celebrated resilience after adversity and has been shared through Instagram and Facebook storytelling. Started in August 2020 by fire-affected Kangaroo Island resident Sabrina Davis, the stories of islanders have uplifted, inspired and connected the community after first experiencing the Black Summer fires and then the restrictions of Covid-19 directly after. Nearly a year later, the project has thousands of followers, told many authentic islander stories and also made an impact. In November 2020, Sabrina set out to re-equip the island’s fire-devasted farm firefighters who lost their PPE clothing and ended up raising over $60,000 in three months, equipping over 225 firefighters and winning a Community Champion award recognising those efforts even when faced with adversity herself.

The Community Enterprise Foundation Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has raised more than $400,000 to make a difference to bushfire affected communities from Kangaroo Island to the Adelaide Hills, thanks to people supporting the Bendigo Bank’s South Australian Bushfire Appeal.

At the start of 2021, Humans of Kangaroo Island was successful in securing grant funding through the Community Enterprise Foundation and becoming one of the projects with a focus on short-term recovery, to support resilience, rebuilding and strengthening communities.

These funds aided the creation of a printed publication of Humans of Kangaroo Island stories, recording this period in time when things are tough and people needed to be more resilient.

Sabrina Davis, the publisher and creative talent, is passionate about the project. ‘By now I have told close to 100 stories of local islanders and continue to do so to make an impact and keep our community connected. I aim to record the diversity of our island within these stories. We have many different upbringings, talents and cultural backgrounds to offer. This book will showcase our island’s identity, culture and history. It will discuss happy and tough times in our lives, as well as challenges such as the fires and a pandemic. It can be enjoyed for generations to come,’ says Sabrina.

The elegant 78-page hardcover coffee table style book is published by Stories for Impact, will be released on the 10th of November and is available for pre-order on the project’s website on www.humansofkangarooisland.com as well as many popular retail and café locations around the island as listed on the website. An eBook version is also available for purchase from online booksellers and the website from the 24th of November 2021 onwards.

This is a great gift idea for residents and visitors of the island as well as off-shore friends and family members and general story lovers. Find out more about the people who make this place unique and special, get a glimpse into island life and support a worthy island cause at the same time.

Sabrina will donate the majority of the story collection sales towards yet another community initiative, this time supporting the severely fire-affected sports club Western Districts to fund playground equipment during their rebuild.

Connecting island visitors with island producers

Arriving on Kangaroo Island at the end of 2005, Tim and Tamsin Wendt only planned to have a two-year country stint – now they are bringing visitors and local producers together to showcase the best the island has to offer.

Kangaroo Island teenager collects bread clips for a good cause

Fourteen-year-old Kangaroo Island teenager Regan Clark has been collecting plastic bread clips to help the people of South Africa. Born and bred on the island, the young girl already has hundreds of bread tags in jars ready to be recycled and made into bowls. The profit of the bowl sales will then go towards purchasing wheelchairs for people in need in South Africa.

“Someone told me about the project and I thought, this is an easy thing to do,” says the Parndana girl. “There are a lot of bread clips and if I can donate in such an easy way, then why not.”

Regan herself has never been to South Africa but she just felt the need to help. Now she is hoping others might join her in this worthy cause.

“We need two hundred kilos of bread tags to have enough money to purchase just one wheelchair,” explains Regan who is anticipating the wider community will support her. Together with the help of her local sports club, two Parndana grocery stores and her extended family, she has collected 3825 grams of the bread tags already over the past two years and will continue to do so.

The 14-year-old, who lives on a farm in the heartland of the island, says you can also donate directly. “Just go and visit their website, https://ozbreadtagsforwheelchairs.org.au/ and either donate money or bread tags, it’s as easy as that.”

The bread clips can be sent directly to Oz Bread Tags for Wheelchairs or people can post them to Regan herself who also has encouraging support from her family.

“This is a fantastic way of teaching our children the importance of recycling and what can be achieved if we all worked together in this,” says Regan’s mother Penny. “And instead of them going into landfill, they become useful.”

Award-winning passion project

With the aim of reconnecting, uplifting and inspiring the community after the Black Summer fires 2019/20, I started the project ‘Humans of Kangaroo Island’ on social media where I share stories of islanders one at a time.

As a creative outlet with an impact, I wanted to make a difference for my community and started profiling farm firefighters in November 2020 leading into the next fire season whilst fundraising for them. Hoping to re-equip 100 farm firefighters with protective clothes and safety equipment, I needed at least $15,000 but ended up raising over $60,000 in three months, and winning a Community Champion award recognising my efforts.

Read the stories and find out more about the project here: