Stanley, Peter: Black Saturday

Stanley, Peter

Black Saturday at Steels Creek, Scribe, Brunswick, Vic., 2013

In-depth study of the impact, at the time and after, of the 2009 fires on a small community near Melbourne. Interesting for comparisons with the author’s previous work in military history and for what it says about both the land Australians live in and how they deal with what the land does to them.

The values the author writes about – ‘friendship (mateship), mutual trust, respect and support, tolerance, cooperation, communication and participation’ (p. 11) – may be compared with those traditionally associated with Anzac, and the question asked: do these values arise out of circumstances and shared humanity or do they derive from something that happened 100 years ago in Turkey?

There are reviews here, here and here and the author writes about the writing of the book here. There is further material here. Two other accounts of Black Saturday are reviewed here. Moira Fahy’s film, Afterburn, about the Steels Creek events and their aftermath is reviewed here. This piece by Stephen J. Pyne is about how Australian artists have liked to paint bushfires.

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