A united Nambucca Valley starts to heal after the devastating fires of 2019

Author Carrolline Rhodes accepts flowers from Mayor Rhonda Hoban.


FOLLOWING the devastating fires that tore through the Nambucca Valley in November 2019, the Nambucca Valley Council commissioned local author Carrolline Rhodes to compile the stories of the local people affected.

The resulting book, ‘Eighth November- The Kian Road Fire 2019’ was officially launched at the Macksville Ex-services club on May 1.

“It is our gift to the community that has been impacted by the fire,” Nambucca Valley Mayor Rhonda Hoban told News Of The Area at the book’s launch.

“It is about capturing the experience of those in the thick of it and those involved in the recovery.

“It is their story, not Council’s story,” she said.

The book is a raw account of actual events that transpired on that dreadful day and the effects it has had on this tight knit community since.

The launch was a great success with over one hundred people in attendance.

The event was opened by a Welcome to Country from Ricky Buchanan followed by an address by Mayor Rhonda Hoban.

Mayor Hoban described the book to, “At times make you laugh, and at times feel a sense of terror and horror.”

Author Carrolline Rhodes spoke of her experience in writing such a novel, saying, “People need to be heard, it is a vital part of healing.”

Ms Raewyn Mackey was one of many people directly affected by the fires of November 2019, not only as a rural resident but also as a volunteer Rural Fire Fighter.

She happily shared her experience with Ms Rhodes and found it a fabulous way to start the healing process.

Ms Mackey told News Of The Area, “The speed of the fire was incredible, there was no time to think…no time.”

When asked what words best described the events of that day Ms Mackey replied, “Chaotic. Madness. There was no time for fear or decision making.”

The toast to the launch was one to be remembered.

A small pot of honey from beekeeper Lothar Schmidt‘s farm was placed before each attendee.

This being the first batch of honey produced since the fires devastated his farm in 2019.

A toast was made to ‘Regrowth and Renewal’ as everyone raised their honey spoons.

Delicious refreshments were then served and entertainment was supplied by the Salvation Army Band before pop quartet PIRRA continued into the evening.




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