As Christmas approaches I am realising that I’ve been reading, listening to others, and learning about disaster recovery and community resilience for 9 months now.  The more reports and documents that I read, the more people in local government, in the emergency services and in the non-goverment sector that I meet, the more impressed I am by the calibre of people who are involved in the front line of providing support to communities affected by disaster.  The men and women who work on the ground in communities helping people stand back up – individually and collectively – are all heroes.  Perhaps not in the chest beating, ‘look at me’ kind of way, but even more importantly in the ‘strong hands and big hearts’ kind of way.  There is great good and generosity in people.  I hope that everyone has a peaceful and disaster free Christmas.  As usual summer brings risks to Australians – risk of fire, flood and cyclone.  I hope that we have a kind summer this year.  But if we don’t, I know that we will help one another again. And we will keep helping one another – because that is who we are.