One of a set of five gift cards developed by Stella and Alan Reid to promote the the Wildhaven Wildlife Shelter. Each card features animals that have been rehabilitated at Wildhaven; the photographs were taken by Stella at Wildhaven and show the burnt environment following Black Saturday.

This card features Hildie, a kangaroo with the devastated Kinglake National Park at Wildhaven in the background. Stella explains Hildie's extraordinary story: 'She's the only one to survive Black Saturday [from Wildhaven]. Hildie was our very first reason for buying Wildhaven. We were living in Warrandyte and doing wildlife there and one day a policeman brought us a little joey, and I'd never looked after a kangaroo with joeys before. And I said to Alan, if we keep her and raise her, we have to sell this property and buy another one, because it was on five acres but it was not kangaroo area. So we looked for about ten months and we found here. But in that ten, eleven months, Hildie was probably about 4 kilos in weight, so we bought the property for her. So we brought her here. She got the name Hildie, because she was found on Hildebrand Road. She was found exactly where I was on Black Saturday, on the fire truck. That's where her mum died. ... Thirteen years later, I'm in the same spot, fighting the fires'. Hilderbrand Road is also the place where Stella witnessed her own home and wildlife shelter go up in flames on Black Saturday, while she was on active duty with the CFA. Hildie survived the fires by crawling into a wombat burrow, re-emerging at Wildhaven soon after Black Saturday. Her burns were treated at a shelter at Hepburn Springs where she soon returned to the bush.

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

Folded gift card with colour image of a kangaroo against background of burnt trees and bare earth.


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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