Family’s faith in Evans Head restored after van theft
UPDATE. 2PM TODAY: EVANS Head new arrivals Kerrie Mann and Hayden Mallia have had their faith in Evans Head restored.
Local businesses and residents have offered accommodation and clothes to the family who had their van, containing all their valued possessions, stolen from outside their temporary accommodation.
One woman offered a fully furnished rental in Woodburn in which the family can have temporarily for the same rate they were paying in Evans until they get back on their feet.
Also, Adrian Easdown of Silversands Caravan Park said he was happy to provide a site for a week or so at the holiday park if they can get a tent or something together?
"I was getting pretty stressed so this is great news," said Ms Mann.
IT WASN'T the welcome to Evans Head they had hoped for.
Hayden Mallia, Kerrie Mann and her daughter Lilli moved up here to get away from the crime in Werribee, a south-west Melbourne suburb.
But a few days after moving into temporary holiday accommodation at Evans Head - a cottage adjacent to the RSL - their van, containing all their valued possessions, was stolen.
Mr Mallia is a concreter and lost all his tools, even his work boots. He doesn't like his chances of scoring a job barefoot.
Ms Mann said: "We've been living in a tent and in our van for the last couple of months so it's like our home.
"We've only got two weeks at this (holiday) house left and then we are stuck again because of the Evans Head Fishing Classic. There are no rentals available.
"There is just no accommodation. And with Lilli in school at Evans Head we are really going to be stuck."
'Our van is everything'
After posting a picture of the van on Facebook, they received a message from someone who believed they saw the van at Lismore Shopping Square.
"The police couldn't find it. The longer it goes on, the less likely we are going to get it back. We just want our van back. It's everything," said Ms Mann.
She said she had used the last of their money to replace Lilli's birthday presents, also stolen.
The couple said they had not lost faith in the North Coast dream. Lilli's health depended on it. The 11-year-old has an auto-immune condition and her eczema has decreased since moving away from the big smoke.
But the real decision to move came one day when Ms Mann was walking her daughter home from school.
"We had a lady with a hockey stick come up and she took a swing at Lilli," she said.
The family are hoping to get their van back so Ms Mann can restart her cleaning business and Mr Mallia can get some concreting work.
The couple said they may have left the keys in the van.
The White Kia Van with Victorian plates had an Australia flag on the back. Anyone with information is asked to call police.