Creative Recovery: After Bushfire

Offering space for recovery

Establishing a bushfire recovery centre


Fabrik operates out of four state-heritage-listed buildings, in the former Lobethal woollen mill. While the buildings are raw and industrial, there is one building, known by the locals as the Blanket Room, that has the relative comforts of toilets, air conditioning and a kitchenette.

When the Mill was in operation, the Blanket Room was the place where the newly woven blankets were taken for finishing. If any threads had broken through the manufacturing process, they were mended here.

Knowing the support required by the community would be extensive and complex, Fabrik offered the Blanket Room as a base for the state-run Bushfire Recovery Centre.

As Housing SA established systems and services, Fabrik sourced artworks for the walls, and consulted with Michelle Cripps from the Royal Adelaide Hospital’s Centre for Creative Health, on ways to foster a sense of welcome and safety to a community in trauma.

The Recovery Centre operated out of the Blanket Room for fourteen months. Fabrik’s proximity to the essential services provided by the Centre meant that programs could be developed in response to demonstrated need.

Additionally, collaborations developed with the Centre, including a plant donation space (with an everchanging offering of seedlings propagated by locals) and a Yarning Circle, where knitters and crocheters gathered to make warm clothing for fire affected community members. The Yarning Circle continues to meet, and includes individuals who lost all in the fires. The social connections made in the group continue to sustain the members.