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Up there Cazaly!

Black Saturday, part I

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Drawn from ash

As part of the Kid Witness News program, last week we travelled with Panasonic to Middle Kinglake Primary School, one of the schools affected by this year's Victorian bushfires.

The Kid Witness News program includes an annual worldwide short film competition. All entries have to be five minutes or shorter. Despite the Kid Witness News name bringing memories, to our minds at least, of the classic Channel Ten news theme, entries needn't be a news item or, even, news based. Prizes are presented in a number of categories, with the overall Australian winner going on to represent our country in a regional showdown and, possibly, the worldwide finals.

Due to a variety of factors, Middle Kinglake Primary missed the cut-off date for entry into this year's comp, but are hoping to produce a video to be displayed at next month's award ceremony. As such, the school received a crash course in all things related to TV, camcorders, scripts and acting with former host of

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Kid Witness News is an on-going program founded and supported by Panasonic. It has been running since 1989 in the US. Down under it's been in operation for six years and through it Australia's 63 participating schools have gained Panasonic video equipment, while the students have been taught specific skills, like script writing, acting, filming and editing, as well as more general skills, such as team work and time management.

Middle Kinglake Primary was burnt down during this year's Black Saturday bushfires. The school is currently in temporary digs adjacent to the old school.

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The school built a vegetable garden with help from a national hardware chain.

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Alongside the garden is a row of hand prints from the school students. Unfortunately, three of the school's pupils passed away during the Black Saturday fires.

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The town's Aussie Rules team made it to the Yarra Valley Mountain District league's grand final, only to lose to Olinda-Ferny Creek 63 to 55. You can read about it here.

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Middle Kinglake Primary was burnt down in this February's fires; what remained of its structures was later bulldozed. The most notable remnant is the basketball court that can be seen off in the distance.

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This concrete slab in the foreground is what remains of a former school building.

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Some of Middle Kinglake's students practice on the drums during lunchtime.

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Postcards for sale in the school's office are prints of charcoal paintings featuring Kinglake in its former glory. The charcoal used in the originals came from the ashes of some of the town's burnt down buildings and all proceeds go towards rebuilding Kinglake.

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