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?