07 February 2010

7 February

I can't believe a year has passed since Black Saturday. 7 February 2009.

This past week the media has featured stories of hope and survival about the communities affected by Black Saturday. I read a story in The Age this morning that brought tears to my eyes. I have read and viewed other stories, reflecting on the enormity of the bushfires, and remembering the sadness in Victoria and Australia this time last year.

Christine Nixon, head of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority writes of the challenges of moving forward after the tragedy of Black Saturday.I wonder how people who have lost so much - their houses, schools, pets, family members - can continue to live with hope. Though it seems, hope abounds, and there are so many people affected by Black Saturday who are helping others. There's the story of Linda Haggard who is helping school children heal through art therapy. There are countless volunteers giving their time and materials to rebuild houses and buildings. And stories are emerging of how people rescued others on Black Saturday.

It's awful to think that 173 people lost their lives that day. That 2000 houses were destroyed. And that the lives of thousands of people have changed forever. This tragedy meant loss on an unimaginable scale, but it also brought the nation together to raise money for the survivors and rebuild the towns and lives affected.

Here are two websites worth visiting.

Australian Story - Her beauty and her terror

ABC Black Saturday tribute

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