During the summer of 2019–2020, Australia experienced a catastrophic bushfire season. Many deadly fires broke out around the country. It was a landmark event in Australian history. The NSW towns of Cobargo, Quaama, Nerrigundah and the surrounding regions were devastated.

The oral history project

The National Library of Australia is working with the Cobargo Bushfire Resilience Centre and members of the impacted communities to create an oral history project. This will tell the stories of those who were affected by the fire.

The Library will conduct a series of 60 interviews to record the memories and experiences of those affected by the Badja Forest Road Fire in the summer of 2019–2020.

We want to gather views from different perspectives, demographics and locations within the fire affected areas. This is so we can ensure that the impact and legacy of these events are permanently recorded for future generations.

If you were affected by the Badja Forest Road Fire and want to tell your story, we’d like to hear from you.

Taking part in the interviews

All interviews will be conducted by trained and experienced oral historians who work for the National Library of Australia. The interviews will be completed by 30 June 2023.

The Library records whole of life oral history interviews. This means we are interested not just in the way you were impacted by the fire but in your broader life story.

You will be safely guided through the interviews at whatever pace suits you. The interviewer will never push you to talk about anything you don’t want to. It’s entirely up to you what you choose to share with us. We can stop the interview at any point and take a break if needed.

As an interviewee, you get to decide on the access rights (who gets to listen to the recording). The Library will never publish any oral history without your permission.

Be part of an important legacy

The oral history project will act as an enduring historical record of those who lived through the fire. The project will become part of the Library’s oral history collection. It means present and future generations will be able to understand the impact and significance of the fire as a major Australian event.

How to take part

Expressions of interest for this project are now closed.