If this book is about the events of Australia’s Black Summer bush fires, it is also about the nature and resilience of the Australian people. The devastation was there for all to see. What was harder to capture was the way every Australian responded. A nation forged by fire and defined by help.
World Press Photo-award-winning photojournalist Matthew Abbott spent months on location capturing the catastrophic events as they unfolded firsthand, and his compelling images made headlines around the world. His photographs have etched themselves into our collective memory, as have the stories behind them: first-person accounts from the people on the ground – firefighters and wildlife rescuers, bystanders who became upstanders, doing what they could to help – reveal a nation galvanised to help.
These accounts, along with insights from anthropologists and those who observe human behaviour, allow us to begin to understand why humans put themselves in danger to help others and what it means to be human.