Mallacoota and beyond

Ann Petruckevitch

2020 - Ongoing


The images submitted here examine the unseen aftermath of damage caused by the annual bushfires that occur in Australia. They were taken as I travelled by campervan along the Princes A1 highway through the states of New South Wales and Victoria, respectively.

The extent of damage at the end of 2019 was far reaching with the destruction of many areas of national park land and town housing, with the fires engulfing 1.2 million hectares of land in just the East Gippsland region of Victoria alone. The town of Mallacoota and the beach area of Cape Conran were severely impacted and are still struggling to restore and maintain their local businesses and much needed tourism, respectively. The destruction was evident in so many areas of natural beauty with the long term impact of these fires, having received sporadic international press coverage, not exactly known which leads to feelings of uncertainty within the local communities. These bushfires have had a devastating effect on the environment and the landscape's animal population with the loss of many of their natural habitats.

The last image is a memorial to the many people who were caught up in the fire that trapped them in the town of Mallacoota given the only road out was closed due to being cut off by the fires; people were subsequently rescued by sea and air. A recent Panorama programme in the UK highlighted the level of destruction that was caused by these fires, the worst in living memory causing unprecedented damage. With the annual fire seasons a continuous unwelcome threat and the challenge that the whole world now faces with the COVID-19 pandemic the final image seems a fitting reminder of what future life looks like for all of us across the globe.

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  • Kilometres to where?

  • Rest area

  • Prepare, Act, Survive

  • Cold beer

  • Where to and how far?

  • Coastal park

  • Cape Conran

  • Burnt road

  • Charred remains

  • New shoots

  • Pitch 489

  • To the ground

  • Please shut the gate

  • Salvaged

  • Meadow at No: 4

  • Masks

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