From The Embers

From The Embers

In 2020, the first series of From the Embers premiered, focusing on communities across Australia who had faced fire and smoke and homes destroyed in what was one of the most difficult summers has ever seen, the 2019-20 bushfire season. In 2022, From the Embers 2: Phoenix returns to several places featured in the first series, including Mallacoota, Kangaroo Island, and the forests of the Far north of New South Wales to explore how communities are recovering from the fires and the issues that stem from trauma and isolation, coupled with the strength gained when so much is lost. This series will also visit new communities who are recovering from floods and seemingly never ending COVID lockdowns. Created in partnership with community radio stations, and the generous support of the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas, Paul Ramsay Foundation, The Minderoo Foundation Fire and Flood Resilience Initiative, and the Monash University's Fire To Flourish program.


July 3, 2022 27 min

Melbourne became a ghost town during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pubs and venues closed their doors, leaving many of the city’s artists and creatives without a stage to perform on or an audience to perform for.

Yet over successive lockdowns, it was the creative industries that kept communities strong, as we all adapted to unprecedented circumstances. 

In The Stage Goes Dark, four creatives share their struggles and victories during the ...

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Four Emergency level bushfires burned over one weekend in Western Australia in February 2022. With roughly 30% of WA agricultural land, most farmers are prepared for fire at any time. But when one comes, they rely heavily on volunteer farmers and locals who form the  Bush Fire Brigade.


On February 6, 2022 near the small farming town of Narrogin, extreme wind and heat, coupled with a powerline spark in a dry pasture paddock, resul...

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June 26, 2022 27 min

Day after day of intense rainfall fell across south east Queensland In February 2022, breaking riverbanks, swamping roads and flooding homes.

The city of Brisbane experienced one of the worst floods on record. In three days alone, Brisbane received 80 per cent of its annual rainfall as people scrambled to find higher ground to shelter.

As people recover and start to rebuild, questions are being raised over where to live and how to ...

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June 21, 2022 27 min

Ever increasing record high flood levels are marked on the side of Lismore’s flood levee. 

Lismore, a town in Northern New South Wales is dissected by two major rivers. When there’s heavy rainfall, water flows down from the surrounding hills, slowing at the bottom and spreading across the floodplain. 

The town’s residents know floods, their houses are built high, some four metres off the ground in the canopies of trees. Many have f...

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June 19, 2022 27 min

One and a half million hectares of Yuin Country was destroyed by the 2019/2020 mega fires in the South Coast of New South Wales. These fires killed countless animals, plants and insect species - some of which are now on the brink of extinction.

Many members of the South Coast Yuin Community call these mega fires, ‘Wrong Fire,’ fires that can’t be controlled and have the capacity to injure and kill. This type of fire is vastly diffe...

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June 14, 2022 27 min

The fires that tore through the South Coast of New South Wales in 2019/2020 hit towns on the coast and in the bush.

Within the community, homes were lost, some experienced events that left them traumatised and all inhabited a devastated landscape.


Animal habitats were also affected, and when both logging companies and urban developers began to encroach on the habitat of the critically endangered Swift Parrot, locals from the Sout...

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June 12, 2022 27 min

Two years on from the massive fire that tore through Mallacoota, a tiny coastal town  in Victoria, the camping grounds are full again, koalas can be spotted in the crowns of eucalypts and the landscape is green with epicormic growth.


But the town is dotted with empty lots where houses once stood and the new green growth only hides the blackened trunks.

Photojournalist Rachel Mounsey documented the approach of the bushfire and the...

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June 7, 2022 27 min

Residents in Lobethal fled their properties for safety in December 2019, not knowing if they’d return and find their houses still standing.


Adelaide’s Cudlee Creek fire filled the air with black smoke and destroyed 85 homes over 10 days. As the recovery rolled-out, the pandemic crept in - isolating people and leaving those who’d lost their homes feeling isolated and forgotten.


Content warning this feature contains stories from ...

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June 5, 2022 27 min

Severe storms and fire are a part of life on Kangaroo Island. But the firestorms that blasted across the Island’s landscape in January 2022 were unlike anything ever seen before, and forbode of a changing climate.


Two years on, birds and mammals are only just starting to return to fire-ravaged habitats, and a question looms over the community - what will come when the fire siren rings again?


When Lightning Strikes Twice is made...

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From the Embers 2: Phoenix returns to several places featured in the first series when in 2019, major fires surged across Australia lasting until rains and floods extinguished them in 2020. Most remember this as the worst season Australia had experienced.

The second series returns to Mallacoota, Kangaroo Island, the forests of the Far north of New South Wales, to explore how communities are recovering from the fires and the issues ...

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June 15, 2020 27 min

The roads to Omeo were closed as fires surged towards the small East Gippsland town.

Locals retreated to the Recreation Reserve to camp in outbuildings and halls clustered around the football field.

Then out of the heavy smoke, birds appeared, Chinooks and Black Hawks offering an escape to some of the community.

This is the final episode of Season One of From the Embers, a nine-part series sharing first-hand accounts from Australia...

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June 8, 2020 27 min

What does a “properly defended” house look like?

Is it a bunker in a hill? A mop and bucket at every corner? Do you just need a hose and access to a tap?

Across Australia during the bushfire season, a repeated message is that people should only stay if they’re prepared to fight the fires, but as a bushfire approaches, even those who are most prepared, often have to make a difficult decision.

The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund dire...

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May 28, 2020 27 min

First, the road closed. Then on the morning of New Year’s Day, night came and the skies turned red. Images from the coastal town of Mallacoota went viral as thousands of people sheltered on the wharf, the beach and in the caravan park that overlooks the lake. And during that time, the community radio station, helmed by Francesca Winterson played on…until they couldn’t.


  • Francesca Winterson
  • Don Ashby
  • Brodie Gaudion
  • Kristin Rule
  • K...
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    May 25, 2020 27 min

    Kangaroo Island is the oldest bee sanctuary in the world and home to one of the last disease-free koala populations in Australia.

    At the end of 2019, two lightning strikes lit up the bushland at Flinders Chase National Park, resulting in uncontrollable firestorms that tore across the island at speeds the community had never seen before, scorching the earth and destroying animal habitats. 

    A warning to listeners, this episode contai...

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    When a fast-moving fire started in Cudlee Creek in the Adelaide Hills, residents throughout the region had to stop, drop what they were doing and return to their homes to defend, evacuate, or take shelter.

    If they chose to flee to safety, they faced another tough decision - what to take with them and what to leave behind?


  • Matt and Bec Edwards
  • Caz
  • Meg Stephens
  • Credits:

  • Producer: Lisa Burns
  • Executive Producer and Sound Design: S...
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    May 10, 2020 27 min

    People move to Cooma for the landscape, to walk through forests, to farm, to be embraced in a small community that welcomes outsiders. 

    But in the summer of 2019, danger was lurking in the hills around Cooma and as the year ticked over, Cooma was visited by an unexpected disaster.


  • Yvi Henderson
  • Sujeed Bosco
  • Louise Jenkins
  • Jodi Brooks
  • Credits:

  • Producer Lisa Burns
  • Executive Producer and Sound Design Sarah Mashman
  • Production Manage...
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    May 4, 2020 27 min

    Early in the bushfire season, the town of Mongarlowe was encircled by flames and cut off from outside support.  The town was facing encroaching fires so vast and severe, that in any other circumstance support teams of extra fire trucks and crews, emergency services and much more would have been sent to aid the town - but in this season of fires, there was no extra support to give.

    So the town spawned a grassroots firefighting colle...

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    April 27, 2020 27 min

    Early data placed the number of wildlife lost in the recent bushfires at over a billion. The impact of Australia’s recent fire season on wildlife has been devastating. Before the fires hit their zenith, wildlife carers and rescuers - some defending their homes and properties at the same time, were stepping up, and strangers from around the world donated time and money, to help Australia’s wildlife.

    So what happens to the animals to...

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    April 27, 2020 27 min

    A transistor radio and couple of batteries kept people connected during the bushfires as they listened to the constant emergency alerts. But in between the official messages are the human ones. Five presenters working across two regions share their experience of the recent summer of fire and what happened when one region’s transmitter went down.

    Guests include:

  • Kathy Shields from Eurobodalla Access Radio (2EAR FM)
  • Gordon Waters - Br...
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    April 16, 2020 2 min

    In the wake of COVID-19, it's easy to forget that only a few short months ago, hundreds of communities across Australia were faced with fire and smoke, homes destroyed and one of the most difficult bushfire seasons Australia has ever seen. Not only has the rise of COVID-19 slowed recovery efforts, as the media focus their attentions on a global crisis, those who have lost everything are now also left behind.

    Premiering on Tuesd...

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