‘One For The Otways’ – was a live album recording fundraiser on the Great Ocean Road for the 2015 Christmas Day Bushfires at Wye River & Separation Creek & for the amazing groups of Surf Coast Animal Rescue Service & Carlisle River Wildlife Shelter.
The driver and energy behind this innovative initiative is Dean Krueger and Otway Life Magazine caught up with him while he was still in the whirlwind of organising the music events at Aireys Pub and Lorne Hotel.
OL: What inspired you to create One for The Otways?
DK: I lived in this area for many years working, surfing & playing music. This area gets into your soul & never leaves. The people within this region were like heroes to me in my youth & still are. I have spent the last 15 years travelling for my work & there is only one place that truly feels like home & that’s the Otway’s.
Christmas Day 2015 I was getting the Bendalong Point Holiday Park on the NSW Coast ready for the annual pilgrimage & that phone call came in. I will never forget that day. Like many of us we knew people were in danger & this fire was big.
Two months after the devastating fires a good friend called & said ” it’s time for you get the band back together & lift the spirits for the community”. The coast gave me some of the best years of my life & the local community supported our band Salmon Guts with all their might. I immediately said ”yes”. My little family said to me ,” are you going to put on a rock show for the fires in the Otways dad ”It was right then One For The Otways was born.
I had some old connections in the music industry & I knew they would jump on board & support this event. The Otways is loved by a great many people & it was time we united together to give a little something back.
OL: What does ‘grass roots community event’ mean to you?
DK: Grass Roots is about the community & the environment we live in. When devastating disasters like the 2015 bushfires hit the Otway region, human spirit comes alive in the most inspiring ways. The communities join together supporting each other with all of their heart & soul.
One For The Otways event has only been made possible by local community & business donations / sponsorships. That’s 100% grass roots in anyone’s book. This event is from the community for the community. There is a clear positive message here, we all want to restore this unique environment together.
OL: What has been the response?
The response to the event has been amazing. It’s taken a while to get the message out, but the event has now reached the wider public .We are receiving beautiful emails from many people saying,” great work, keep it up, how can we help, thank you for supporting the community & the environment.
Right from the start the local community recognised the event & understood we all needed to unite together on the long road to recovery. I have always been so proud of the Otway region & the response from the many communities towards the event is overwhelming.
OL: This is a huge effort and takes a lot of time and energy – how are you looking after yourself – who is supporting YOU?
It’s been a very busy seven months working on the event & I have found a complete new respect to the many wonderful people who give their time to fundraising events including all those in the background that have supported this effort from the word go. My wonderful little family are with me every step of the way pushing me & that’s what family is for.
Postscript from Dean:
The album is in the studio being worked on as we speak, plenty of work ahead.
We will be announcing an album launch in the next two weeks on the coast to kick start donating thee album proceeds towards the environment of the Otways.
The event was a great success & people from all over connected & had three wonderful nights.
Can’t wait to get the album out.
A big thank you to all the sponsors,volunteers & the local communities. All is on track for a very special album!
Great shots by Renee Wigley photography @ One For The Otway’s live album fundraiser down on the coast Great Ocean Road..
Keep track of the Album’s progress: