Letter from premier John Brumby to Victorian Public Servants who rallied together during the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires and during the recovery thereafter. In the letter he expresses his pride in the work of the public service and says "whether you fought on the front line or worked behind the scenes, I cannot thank you enough for your hard work and tireless dedication to our community. The people of Victoria join me in offering our heartfelt gratitude for your exceptional contribution, compassion and self sacrifice." The letter accompanies a commemorative pin and asks the recipient to wear it with pride. Although the letter is undated the recipient, Dr Chris Lassig, received it in the second half of 2009.

Physical Description

Single page letter on Premier of Victoria letterhead. Signed by John Brumby MP, Premier of Victoria.


This letter, sent on behalf of the Premier to everyone involved in the emergency response to the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, is significant because it captures in official language the community's understanding of the role played by many people who were not 'on the front lines'. Unprecedented media coverage of the bushfires and their aftermath led to greater public attention on the many people who worked 'behind the scenes' to fight and then recover from the fires and this is reflected in the official recognition of all those who contributed.The letter also captures some of the most sensitive issues surrounding how we talk about bushfires: the use of military metaphors, the effect on community and the insistence that the 2009 bushfires were 'unprecedented' when the evidence of 1851, 1989, 1939 and 1983, among many other years, suggests otherwise.

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