During mid-to-late summer in 2009 my two daughters, Melanie, then 23 and Penny, then 21 were killed by the Black Saturday fires that swept through Kinglake in Victoria. Many lives were lost that day, and much property was destroyed. My own life, and the lives of my wider family, were terribly affected.
Over the years we've sat with elders and with people in most of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara communities, listened and shared stories, and felt wonderfully secure in this country. As we've all grown older we've been shattered by every casualty resulting from the relentless infiltration by white culture's more difficult components, and by how hard it is for so many young people to survive, let alone thrive when away from their communities.