People involved with the Black Saturday fires in a personal capacity shared the following insights into their experience of growth from the trauma.
“… It hasn’t been easy but it’s certainly been valuable.”
“I would have never looked forward and thought that my life would be in this place. I think – I know – it’s a better place than what I was in five years ago [before the fires] because of the growth that’s happened. The growth that’s happened on so many levels.” (Kate)
“I have got a lot more confidence in myself, in what ability I have and what I can do” (Joy)
“I was doing poetry before [the fires], just for various speeches… [After the fires] it was a bit of an outlet that I had… However, this is a different level of poetry… I’m not a poet. I never thought I’d be doing poetry. It just came out…
What I like doing is actually reading it out and getting it out so that people hear” (Ray)
“… As a couple there has been incredible growth, incredible learning about one another …” Jill
“…I came to get involved with this small group of women to run some [bushfire recovery] events…. that’s something I’d never organized before.
So to me that’s a big post-traumatic growth experience, I guess, in organizing these sorts of events… that’s really pushed me forward…” Jeanette
“…My mental health is in a far better place than what it has been for nearly a decade…..”
“… Lots of incremental, small incremental growth and then at times big growth…”
“…Sometimes the growth is immediate and sometimes you don’t recognize it until some time later….” Kate
“…you sort of reflect back on it. It’s been an amazing journey and we are still on it…”
“…It’s a huge disaster like that that makes you stop and really look truthfully at things and choose what you want to go on with…it almost gives you permission to leave things behind that are no good anymore…”