I began my PhD in March 2012 – my area of interest being community recovery after natural disaster.  I experienced my first bushfire when I was a teenager in Western Victoria.  My father fought the fire as part of the volunteer bush brigade.  The town of Streatham was razed and one life was lost.  I experienced my most recent bushfire in 2003 in Canberra.  I protected my home with the help of my brother in law.  It was a frightening day – over 200 houses were damaged or destroyed and 4 lives were lost.  I want to find out what activities and relationships work best for communities in their recovery after natural disaster.  Whether we are affected by fire, flood or cyclone, Australians have a resilience and a spirit that leads us to ‘stand back up’.  What is this spirit and how does it manifest?