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As much fun as I’m having developing Exotic Waterwear’s brand via stinger suit photo shoots, weekly blogs and social media, occasionally certain events put things in perspective and recent bushfires in the central west of New South Wales is indeed a sobering example.

This past summer has been a long hot one and we’ve been warned numerous times about the bushfire danger. However, when one transpires, the majority of us are watching it on our big screen televisions in the air-conditioned comfort of our lounge room.

Just a week ago, there was a massive fire called the “Sir Ivan fire” which not only threatened several rural communities but actually destroyed some. Family homes, priceless possessions, community buildings, livestock and much loved family pets were no match for the wall of flames that, at times, raced 100 kilometers an hour across parched grasslands consuming whatever lay in its path.

Word trickled in that a few homesteads had been lost, then news that the whole small town of Uarbry was gone. Can you imagine what that would be like, a lifetime of work wiped out in a few minutes? How utterly devastating! Going back to see if anything is salvageable; looking across the road to find your neighbor in the same harrowing predicament.


In a cruel twist of fate, the captain of the local volunteer fire service returned to find his home and belongings in Uarbry had been destroyed while he was out saving other people’s property.

Our good friends (whose lovely daughters Jazzie & Mia model for me) grew up in that area and it was so sad to hear from them that people they know who still lived there had just lost everything save the clothing on their backs. It suddenly becomes very real!

Events like this should do two things for the rest of us. Firstly, bring it home just how very lucky most us truly are and secondly, make us fully appreciate the dedicated work and sacrifices shown by our emergency services.

When we can, Neil and I have donated to the S.E.S., Rural fire brigade and the Westpac rescue helicopter and at times like this hopefully we all dig a little deeper.

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