What a privilege it was to welcome Victoria’s Governor, Her Excellency Linda Dessau and Mr Anthony Howard to Horsham last week.
Following an early morning walk along our Yanga Track, a morning tea with representatives directly impacted by the 2009 fire was held.
Later in the day, the Haven community organised a bus tour, commemoration ceremony and afternoon tea.
For some people, the smell of smoke, the sight of a fire truck or the sound of a helicopter, takes them right back to that day. Such human fragility and vulnerability should not be seen as a weakness.Cr Mark Radford
Meanwhile, this week, up north, the full impact of the Queensland floods is being revealed.
In our wide brown land of extremes, with 160,000 hectares of bushfire in Tasmania and over a metre of rain for some of our cousins in Queensland, we live, and probably should live, with some sort of expectation of a natural disaster, of some type, in some part of Australia, on a regular basis.
In our nearby Grampians National Park, it is amazing to watch the quick recovery by native vegetation in the regeneration process after a fire.
Following that first rain, green shoots appear and regrowth is almost instantaneous with some species.
People are different.
The word resilience is often used to describe communities who ‘bounce back’ and ‘move on’ from a terrible event.
But I am not so sure about that expression.
As the Haven Remembrance Rail, with its many padlocks, reminds us today, we all have memories…some things we hope we will always remember…others we just wish we could forget.
For some people, the smell of smoke, the sight of a fire truck or the sound of a helicopter, takes them right back to that day.
Such human fragility and vulnerability should not be seen as a weakness.
We are all as different as our fingerprints and I believe the strong community is the one that leaves no one behind after such events.
That is the pathway to resilience, unlike the gum tree.
And in our community, the Horsham fire event of February 7, 2009, had, and still has, an impact on many people.
I would encourage members of our Wimmera community to support our Queensland ‘cousins’, in their time of need, when the opportunities present.