A Note from the Author, from trauma to growth.
“The marsupial Seven Little Australians.”
Sometimes, events just happen to us and we are left to unravel what the event was and make meaning from it after it has occurred. I wrote Koala Rescue through the eyes of Jess, a koala. Jess has a little sister, named Lily, and a brother, Jack. Marsupial babies are called joeys, so some of the koalas are joeys. Photographs of koalas and joeys illustrate this story. Koalas do not live in family groups, however, to tell this children’s story, Jess lives near her brother and sister. Her four cousins live in the same area.
This is Jess.
Drawing on my background as a speech pathologist, I sourced and arranged the photographs to tell the story and generate conversation. Koala Rescue is a visual storybook as much as it is a narrative. If your child is very young, you might like to look at the photos and discuss the events in the story. Older children might like to independently read the book, or you can read it and discuss the story and events together as a family. There are some worksheets and activity ideas on this webpage that you might like to try.
There are many wonderful individuals and organisations that exist to help those in need. Listing every one is beyond the scope of Koala Rescue, however, I have listed many of those involved in wildlife operations in South Australia at the back of the book. I encourage you to look them up on the internet and if you are in a position to do so, please consider making a donation.
Catastrophic events can cause people to act quickly and certainly, a bushfire will galvanise many into action. For example, we can see that bravery in the action of our fire-fighters. Such purposeful motion will help escape feelings of helplessness. We also saw immediate care and compassion of the many members of craft groups who created items and sent them to the injured wildlife. Adverse events in our lives are connected to our emotions, however, it is the belief or the interpretation of the event that will help determine the outcome or response.
Australians are known for the ability to work together and support each other, support that also extends to caring for nature and our beautiful wildlife. Australians can shape their responses and control their lives as well as reflect on questions such as, “What can I do to provide opportunity? What can I do to help provide hope?”
After a period of recovery, we must use the time to absorb and reflect on the event then design the future. We must be practical. We need to stay connected, gather evidence, and operate in an environment of hope.
Look for daily opportunities that bring joy, or create new, positive experiences. Epic tales are built on a strong narrative of loss and gain, rebirth after destruction, bravery and courage. Australian survive such upheavals by staying connected and by the expression of hope.
Whilst looking for photographs to illustrate the text of Koala Rescue, I was surprised to uncover a vast network of people and organisations working together during the crisis and now, in the aftermath. This recovery is more complicated and protracted, due to the interference of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the determined Australian spirit quietly shines on.
This little storybook, originally written for my nieces and nephews, is my thank you to everyone engaged in bushfire crisis and recovery. Despite challenging circumstances, you give us all hope and help us to define what it means to be Australian. Go well, and flourish.
I hope you enjoy the book.
Author ~ Koala Rescue
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