Roxy Gallery Exhibition, Fire Stories Audio

The following audio stories are designed to be listened to while visiting the Fire Stories exhibition at the Roxy Gallery in Kyogle.

Images below correspond to portrait pictures on display at the gallery. Simply click on the play button below to listen to the individuals’ 3-5 minute audio story.

Headphones are recommended. If you don’t have any with you, volunteers or staff at the Roxy can loan you a pair.

Please note: some of these audio stories contain language that may offend and descriptions and sounds of bushfires which some people may find distressing. Listener discretion is advised.

Extended versions of the above audio stories along with other audio stories and interviews can be heard by clicking at Audio Stories

Tara Luca, Korinderie Ridge

It’s about knowing what’s going on. It’s about being informed, not being afraid.’

When Tara evacuated her house at Korinderie Ridge with her kids, her husband Alex decided to stay and defend. Worried about his safety and feeling uncertain of the severity of the threat, Tara and her friend set off to the fire-front to investigate.

April O’Reilly, Korinderie Ridge

I feel like I’m only just completely recovered.’

Fourteen-year-old April talks with her sister Olive and Avida Guise do Rego about the fear she felt for the safety of her community and family during the fires, the injury she suffered when walking through the bush after the fires, and the concern she felt for people that lost everything.

Roger Bailey, Rappville

The penny started to drop, and we bolted for home.’

After three days of battling the Busbys Flat fire with the RFS, Roger Bailey returned to his cattle farm near Rappville to defend his own property.

Ivy Young, The Channon

I realised if I stay here and wait for the fire to come to me, it’s going to be that much bigger and more dangerous.’

During the Mt Nardi fires, Ivy Young helped to organise volunteers, clear trails with her trusty McLeod tool, and patrol and put out fires in the months following. After things had settled at home, she set off with her newfound skills to help her parents as a fire threatened their home in the Bega Vallley.

Terri Nicholson, Terania Creek

The look on her face; it was like she realised she lost a dear friend.’

Terri shares the story of two special trees in the rainforest on her parents’ property in Terania Creek. One that was lost. And one that was saved.

Paul Hutton, Drake

Where does your mind go when it doesn’t have a body to attach itself to?

After the fires burnt through his property on Long Gulley Road near Drake, Paul was ‘cleaned up’ by a dead stringybark tree. Paul shares his story of that day, and where his mind travelled to before he was found by his partner Belinda Fields.

Phil McKenzie, Bora Ridge

We’re getting there… we’ve still got family.’

Phil McKenzie recounts how they survived in the months after the fires destroyed their property on Myall Creek Road, the rebuild process, his personal health struggles, and the much-appreciated help and support received along the way.

Jimmy Malecki, Bungawalbin

To get to the Black Summer fires, I guess it’s the blackness in my heart as well, the grief.’

When the fires reached the Bog Conservation Area – the property of Jimmy and his late partner Richard – Jimmy was amazed, and heartened, by the area the fire left untouched.

Linda and Steve, Rappville

So we went and stayed outside of Leeville School.’

Linda and Steve Cavanagh share their story about evacuating with their two dogs when fire threatened their property near Rappville, and how the preparation they’d done beforehand paid off.

Meredith Stanton, Cloud’s Creek

It just felt like a miracle.’

After days of smoke and flames and the sounds of dozers and choppers, the rain finally came dousing out the flames, much to the relief and amazement of Cloud’s Creek resident, Meredith Stanton.

Aunty Kali, Gulli-bul elder, Kyogle

Gulli-bul elder Aunty Kali (Marcia McBride) shares her childhood memory of rescuing a boorabee (koala) during a fire at the Anamoor State Forest, what the 2019/2020 fires meant for her, and her work with cultural fires since then.