Hundreds of signed copies of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' by J. K. Rowling were donated by Rowling for children impacted by Black Saturday. These books were distributed to children through bushfire relief organisations for a period of six months. Stella Reid acquired this copy by placing her name in a 'raffle' for the remaining copies. Stella previously owned the whole Harry Potter collection in hardback.

The inside cover includes some words of solace from J.K. Rowling, and each book is personally signed with a unique identifier.

The note reads:
"Like millions of people across the world, I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the bush fires that have casued so much devastation and loss of life in Australia. My thoughts were, particularly, with the children and teenagers who have so suddenly and brutally lost their homes and possessions, and who must have known such fear and disorientation in the aftermath of this disaster.

With the support of my wonderful Australian publishers, Allen & Unwin, I am delighted to help dontate Harry Potter books to replace at least some of those which were burned, along with some signed bookplates, so that readers who enjoy regular trips to Hogwarts can continue visiting. There is always a space in Gryffindor Tower for people who triumph - even if not quite unscathed - over adversity!

With my love and best wishes,
J. K. Rowling"

Alan and Stella Reid live adjacent to the Kinglake National Park. They created 'Wildhaven' in 1998, as a refuge and rehabilitation centre specialising in kangaroos, wallabies and koalas. The Black Saturday bushfires destroyed everything on their property, all of the animals in their care were killed, and their home and other buildings were razed. Stella is a member of the St Andrews CFA and was on active duty during the day; she witnessed her home go up in flames from across the valley. Alan, who was at home when the fire struck was lucky to escape without injury. The fire killed twelve of their neighbours, the 40-50 animals in their care, hundreds of animals in the surrounding properties, and (according to their estimate) up to 90% of the wildlife in Kinglake National Park.

Physical Description

Soft cover book.


This item is part of a collection relating to the experiences of Alan and Stella Reid following the devastating impact of the Black Saturday bushfires. In particular it helps provide insights into the community response through the variety of gifts and donations provided to survivors of the bushfires and the ideas of the types of needs they represented.

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