I have lived in the area for over 40 years on and off. I moved to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and lived there for nine years before coming back here. It’s our family farm of 200 acres.
We, my son and daughter-in-law, left for town two days before the fire came through here and came back daily to feed the animals. I used to run cattle until this happened, but now that’s all finished. I lost eight and had to sell the rest, about 20, because I had no fences left to keep them in.
How the fire didn’t take the house, I don’t know. My dad was really old and I had a ramp built for his walker so he could get inside easily, and the fire burnt the ramp, right up to the door. I reckon he was watching over us.
The work DRA has done today is just, wow! Clearing the fence line and chainsawing the trees for me. My son is a carpenter and works long hours and has been trying to chip away at it, bit by bit on weekends but it’s such a big job to do. He doesn’t know you guys are here today so he’s going to be so surprised when he comes home and sees how much work you’ve done for us. So many other organisations have said they’ll come out and help and they just never turn up or they say “you didn’t lose your house or shed, we can’t help you”.
After 18 months, the wildlife is just starting to come back – a few wallabies, a wombat under the house and kangaroos that come right up on the lawn that I throw vegetable scraps out to.
Thank you for the work you people do, it’s just wonderful. Now we can put a fence at the front of the property again.