National Library of Australia

You must be logged in to Tag Records
Peter Harris interviewed by Mary Hutchison in the Canberra Bushfires 2003 oral history project [sound recording]
Bib ID 3546609
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Author
Harris, Peter, Interviewee
 
Access Conditions Written permission is required for research use, personal copies and public use during the lifetime of the interviewee. 
Description 2005 
4 digital audio tapes. 
Series

Canberra Bushfires 2003 oral history project.

Summary

Peter Harris speaks about being a resident in Canberra since 1963; Mt Taylor Estate; the community and changes over the years; the impact of new building since the fire on existing houses; Mt Taylor Estate Residents Association; the things the house contained; his long term involvement with Scouts and local church; lack of specific knowledge about dealing with fire; insurance issues; looking for valuables and identification; awareness of fires in week before; preparations; list of items missed; decision to leave; the wind; the house next door exploding; looking for neighbour whose house was burning; impact of fire on trees; putting spot fires out with hose; house implodes; the shock; the children's concerns and support; a sense of ongoing danger from fire; poor recollection of people and events during day; exhaustion; needing to be strong; the scene after the main fire; going to hotel in Civic with cat and dog; practicalities after the fire; returning the following day in borrowed clothes; daily routine at the time; moving to rented house; accepting financial support; Recovery Centre; Salvation Army; involvement in Community Fire Unit; the first anniversary of the fire.

Harris talks about his personal journey and emotional stages since the fire; the critical decision to buy or rebuild; realisation of role of possessions in identity; reference to Tsunami victims; support from Church; rebuilding; determination to look forward to new life experiences; being ill prepared; the temptation to walk back into the house before it burned; missing the comfort of a place that has been home for many years; loss of photographs; sadness of starting all over again; media coverage; telling his own story in newspaper articles and through sermons at church; post fire community activities; destruction of Scouts' Cottermouth campsite; focus on developing resilience in new paid work with Scouts; memorial; Coronial Inquiry; helping people move on; government caught unprepared; the Recovery Task Force being exceptional; value of access to counselling; observations of impact of fire on other people; his own experiences; the fire as an important process; the impact of article for 'The Age' written from perspective of son Paul; from shock to reward and new opportunities.

Notes

Recorded on July 16, 2005 and July 23, 2005 at Kambah, A.C.T

Digital master available National Library of Australia;

Index/Finding Aid Note Detailed summary (8 p.) 
Subjects Harris, Peter -- Interviews.  |  Forest fires -- Australian Capital Territory -- Anecdotes.  |  Natural disasters -- Australian Capital Territory.
Other authors/contributors Hutchison, Mary, Interviewer

Online

    In the Library

    Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video Help Video.

    Details Collect From
    ORAL TRC 5105/19
    Copy: Recording
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 5105/19 (summary)
    Copy: Summary
    Special Collections Reading Room

    Order a copy

    - Copyright or permission restrictions may apply. We will contact you if necessary.

    Help Video To learn more about Copies Direct watch this short online video Help Video.
    close Can I borrow items from the Library?

    You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

    You can view this on the NLA website.

    close What can I get online?

    You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

    You can view this on the NLA website.

    close Can I get copies of items from the Library?

    You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

    You can view this on the NLA website.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags
    Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.