I have just left Dunalley and surrounding townships and bays, after almost 3 weeks living in Hobart in order to conduct this next stage of fieldwork. I have conducted over 20 interviews with a diverse set of residents who each agreed to participate in my research. I am very grateful to those who formally participated and to others who met with me or chatted to me informally as I wandered around town, or had coffee or lunch. I felt accepted and welcomed by all and I could have stayed with them for much longer, continuing to gather information and stories. This was a heartfelt contribution to my work – from many who lost everything they owned.
I continue to feel a strong sense of gratitude and responsibility towards everyone who has demonstrated such openness and trust in me. I thank them for their hospitality, their confidence and above all their willingness to share their experiences since that horrific fire in January 2013. I am ever aware of the role of hope, action and human kindness – in recovery at the community level.