London Calling

A day in London, on the way to Devon to visit relatives, I managed to convince my girls that we start the day with a visit to the London Bombings memorial. Not quite what they had in mind, as they were hoping for a shopping day. It did feel a little incongruous (particularly as the […]

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I went along to the launch of Sophie Cunningham’s Warning, a great non-fiction narrative about Cyclone Tracy, which destroyed Darwin in 1974. I’ve been a fan of Sophie’s writing since her novel Geography was released. The sense of weather at it densest and sometimes extreme pervades her writing. The descriptions of summer storms in Sydney […]

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Memories John Schauble from the Fire Commissioners Office, and ex Age journalist has penned a very thoughtful piece about remembrance. In it he poses the question about whether events such as Black Saturday should be remembered. It is a must read article. This is a very interesting question. Anne Eyre has written extensively on commemoration […]

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February 7

Today marks the 5th anniversary of bushfires that devastated Victoria. They were dubbed Black Saturday, although I do often hesitate often to use that label. Some of the people I worked with in the bereavement support groups struggled with being labelled. They were already grieving in public, with media and public interest in the funerals […]

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Really Big

I haven’t written a post for a while. I have a few half written posts on geography and a few other ideas. However Typhoon Haiyan has come along. I haven’t been involved in any of the Red Cross response. This is all ably managed by our international team. The scale of Haiyan or Yolanda, has […]

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This is as Bad as It Gets

Says the fire services commissioner. I am in Sydney, helping out with some of the planning around the Blue Mountains Bushfires. It is somewhat surreal, being in an airconditioned office, dealing with bushfires. Even the weather conditions yesterday in Sydney were mild. Despite the NSW Chief Health Officer’s warning, I ran in the morning. It […]

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Sydney From A 727

Some random thoughts. It’s mid October, serious fires are ringing Sydney. It’s out of the ordinary. the Disasters Database tells me that the earliest major fire in the so called season was in NSW in November. It’s Thursday, people got up went to work, as they do everyday, only for some return to nothing at […]

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Warning: Content Advisory. I describe some graphic scenes, if you aren’t feeling like it, don’t read on today, maybe another day Today, of course, is the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. My thoughts go out to all those affected, through bereavement, through subsequent trauma, and through the fear and suspicion that pervaded society. […]

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The Librarians

This morning I was speeding by train across the volcanic western plains heading towards Ararat, my Mum’s hometown 2 ½ hours west of Melbourne, to talk at a Red Cross membership conference about preparedness. I like travelling by train, as it lets me do some work, stare out the window and contemplate, and be exposed […]

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Coles to Newcastle

This week I was in Newcastle for a workshop, a place that I have only driven through once. Although I feel I know it, because the 1989 earthquake was used quite extensively in teaching at Mt Macedon. The Newcastle Earthquake measured 5.6 on the Richter scale, killing 13 people and injuring 160. 35,000 homes were […]

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