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New path emerges after Black Saturday

Roula had always wanted to live in the country. She worked hard, saved her money and spent eight years building her dream home in Kinglake, Victoria.

She then lost everything in a devastating bushfires 10 years ago.

“The dream that I had worked so hard for was gone. I couldn’t stop crying. It took months for me to stop, every time I heard anything about disasters or fires the tears just came rolling,” Roula explains.

The 2009 Victorian bushfires were among Australia’s all-time worst natural disasters. The fires took a terrible toll, with 180 people losing their lives, including many of Roula’s friends and neighbours.

Roula found the recovery process long and arduous. It took five years for her to feel like she had truly healed.

Red Cross was with her every step of the way.

I’ve never been so traumatised in my life but Red Cross were there helping, talking to people, visiting whoever was left behind. It was wonderful.


Now Roula is giving back, she’s been a Red Cross volunteer for four years, helping others who have been affected by disasters or crises.

“In that situation you need someone with you, you don’t want to be left on your own. It’s that little bit of encouragement and support, to know that there is help. It’s so important because everyone needs someone.”

Since the 2009 Victorian bushfires, Red Cross emergency services have helped multiple communities recover from disasters and crises all over the country. Often the first on the ground when disasters strike, and the last to leave, long after the disaster has ended, ensuring that no one is left behind. 

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