Home is where one starts from. (T. S. Eliot, 1940) Emotional bonds with places can form or change through experiences of tragedy and loss. The loss of one s chosen dwelling place in a bushfire is sudden and devastating. This paper explores the disruption of traditional gender roles and sense of place that occurs in the aftermath of a catastrophic event. Narratives of fire-affected men and women, residents of Central Gippsland whose lives were fundamentally altered by the 2009 Black Saturday fires in Victoria, reveal the complexity of identity and belonging in the post-bushfire landscape. Decision-making after the fires, particularly for those who lost everything, about whether to rebuild or relocate is a major theme. This ongoing research focuses on the role that place has in the lives of individuals, couples and families impacted by a severe bushfire. It is clear that more Australian research addressing the role of place attachment (and place detachment) within the context of disaster recovery and community resilience is needed.
|Pages (from-to)||11 - 16|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Australian Journal of Emergency Management|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|