Earlier this year, my home town Melbourne, experienced the worst bushfires ever seen in this country. The fires devastated entire townships, destroyed thousands of homes ...and even more tragically, claimed 173 lives.
This photo shows the scene looking from Kinglake to Melbourne. It was once green and leafy and full of wildlife. Now it is mostly charcoal. It is just a few kilometres from my home.
We knew several people who lost their homes. Lost everything. My husband had friends who perished in the fires. We also know those who have described miraculous escapes.
February 7 2009 will forever be etched in our collective memory
Signs of life are returning. Trees are showing green shoots, homes are being rebuilt, animals are returning to the bush and people are returning to their towns. But it is fair to say that life will never be the same.