Skip to content

Hillcrest Affected Area Recovery Committee

The tragedy that occurred at Hillcrest Primary School on 16 December 2021 has had a deep and profound impact on many families and the wider Devonport community.

The Hillcrest Affected Area Recovery Committee (HAARC) has been formed to be a point of contact for the Devonport and wider North-West community following the Hillcrest Primary School tragedy.

The HAARC is here to listen to members of the community impacted by the Hillcrest tragedy, to hear about the challenges they may be facing and to help design and lead community recovery activities.

The HAARC will use this information to advocate to Government on the community’s behalf.

Community Recovery

Recovery from emergencies and disasters has been proven to be most effective and enduring when led by the affected community. The Hillcrest Primary School tragedy is a disaster unlike a fire or flood. The loss of young lives and injury to children through unexpected circumstances presents a different kind of trauma.

We therefore recognise that the effects on the broader community have been profound.

The Hillcrest Affected Area Recovery Committee (HAARC) has been set up to coordinate recovery processes at the local level. The HAARC’s focus will be on the school community and wider Devonport community, to enable people in these communities to take a lead role in their recovery process.

Community Recovery Activities

The HAARC is here to support community led recovery activities. This website has been created as a place for members of the community to access information about:

  • support services that are available to children, young people and adults in the community 
  • opportunities to have a say and get involved in community recovery activities 
  • community events being planned or held in the weeks and months ahead. 

This information may change over time, so we encourage you to visit this website for updates.

If you have any questions about any of the the content on this page, please contact us at

Who are the members of the HAARC?

An Affected Area Recovery Committee is made up primarily of local representatives, usually people who are well-known and active in the community.

It may also have some Government representation from the local Council and Government departments who have a role in the recovery effort. This helps to make sure that there is a good connection between the community and Government.

The membership of the HAARC has been selected to ensure that community representatives have the most seats on this Committee.

Membership is listed below. More information about each member is available on the About Your HAARC Members page.


  • Mr Lauchland (Lauchie) Avery - community member and former Tasmania Police Commander (Western District)


  • Mr Tim Blair – community member and founder of the Tim Blair Run for Kids Foundation Inc.
  • Ms Kiara Digby – community member
  • Ms Ally Smith - community member
  • Ms Fiona Smith – member of the Hillcrest Primary School Association
  • Mr Matthew Atkins  General Manager, Devonport City Council
  • Mr Ben Neate – Director of the Hillcrest Recovery Coordination team, Department for Education, Children and Young People
  • Ms Paula Hyland – Department of Health

How can I get in touch with the HAARC?

You can reach out to the HAARC at any time to provide feedback, suggestions and thoughts on what is needed to help you and your community recover. Please email

There will also be planned consultation, where the community will be invited to tell the HAARC about what they are feeling, hearing and seeing and to get involved in recovery activities.

More information about community consultation by the HAARC will be published on this website and through other local channels.