Vivid Publishing - Book Publishers Australia

Ten Years On

Melanie Harris-Brady

A personal account of Black Saturday and the decade that followed

As Melanie Harris-Brady drives through the fire, she has a vision of herself — hair turning to ash, face peeling — and believes she has died. Sometimes it still feels as though her soul is just going through the motions.

The devastating fires in Victoria on Black Saturday, 7 February 2009, destroyed over 2,000 homes and killed 173 people.

Although her daughter was safe with friends that day, Melanie is consumed with guilt over leaving her beloved dog, Max, behind. Mourning the loss of precious things, she recalls her cherished period home and the memories it held.

But life goes on—a dear friend becomes a husband, a new home is built, a son is born. Making jams and chutneys is her therapy, and each year around the 7th of February, friends and family gather: passata is made, wine is drunk.

  out of the ashes, new life grows  




In the Media

10 years ago, Melanie was standing in her garden. Then the sky turned black.

You are here, you are safe, you are present, you are safe.
You are here, you are safe, you are present, you are safe.
You are here…

This is Melanie Harris-Brady’s mantra. These days, it’s more like a reflex. The words cycle through her head whenever she smells smoke or feels the baking heat of a particularly scorching summer day. But they used to be more of a crutch, a way of convincing herself that she did in fact survive the inferno that engulfed her community 10 years ago.

Mamamia – Belinda Jepsen (Feb 2019)Read full article here.


'It's all gone': Black Saturday survivor recalls stranger who saved her
Black Saturday survivor Melanie Harris-Brady says she would not be alive today if not for a man who directed her away from the inferno at Kinglake. She still has no idea who he was.

The Age – Caroline Webb (Feb 2019)Read full article here.

The accidental author
M.elanie Harris-Brady barely escaped the Kinglake fires on Black Saturday and didn’t talk about it for nine and a half years. Then, for reasons she is not entirely sure of, she sat down and in the space of a few hours thousands of words poured out that formed the basis for her recently published book, ‘Ten Years On.’

Upper Yarra Mail (Feb 2019) – Read full article here

Black Saturday survivor, mum and jam maker. Melanie Harris-Brady has a hell of a story to tell.
In January her first book 'Ten Years On' will be released in the lead up to the 10 year anniversary of the February 7, 2009 fires that decimated communities a Victoria. It details the extremes of sadness and joy that life has brought since the fires, and how her family and home has recovered.

The Kinglake resident lost her first husband to cystic fibrosis just 18 months before she lost her house, her beloved dog, and almost her life during Black Saturday.

"I lost everything." she said. "I was in such a panic, I thought I would die. I rushed out of the house and left my best friend, my dog, at home. I couldn't say Max's (the dog) name for years afterward," she said.

In fact, Ms Harris-Brady tried to turn her car around and go back for Max but a car that was following her blocked her from returning. "I don't know who it was, and I never spoke to them again, but they undoubtedly saved my life that day," she said.

Yea ChronicleRead full article here.


About the Author

Melanie Harris-Brady is a qualified marketer and Western Herbalist. Gardening, meditating and cooking keep her grounded and helped her to heal after losing everything but her own life and her daughter’s in the devastating Black Saturday fires of 2009 in Victoria. This memoir of that day and her gradual recovery is a story of loss and healing that will inspire and give hope to others. Trauma need not define you, and blessings come in the love and empathy of others.








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ISBN: 978-1-925846-46-1
Format: Paperback 203mm x 133mm
Extent: 112pages
RRP: $19.95
Publisher: Vivid Publishing
Category: Australian Non Fiction -- Memoir