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Heroes of Black Summer


It was an Australian summer like no other. Record-breaking temperatures and years of severe drought fuelled a series of bushfires that burnt across the country. The major fires peaked during December 2019 and January 2020 and East Gippsland was hit hard. Throughout Victoria, people started ‘paying it forward’ and doing what they could to help others in need. And many heroes emerged. Heroes of Black Summer is a brand new picture book illustrating some of the heroic, brave and kind actions of Australian people during the 2019-20 bushfire season. Each mini story captures a real life experience of the harrowing events from individuals and families living in the East Gippsland region. The book provides fire-affected communities with a tool to manage stress, anxiety and depression to support healing and recovery, and is also a great resource to actively engage with the community to gather and share their stories.

Author: Craig Sheather is a travel and creative writer from Albury in southern New South Wales. He specialises in lifestyle writing about the outdoors, food and wine, luxury, adventure and family travel. He’s authored two walking guide books; ‘Best Walks of Victoria’s High Country’ and ‘Best Walks East of Melbourne’. Craig is married with two cheeky young children so he has also developed a strong interest in children’s books. Some of his family originated in the Upper Murray and he also owns a cabin in Khancoban so holds a deep connection to the region. Along with the Wild family (Sparky’s owners), Craig is very happy to share Sparky’s remarkable story of hope and survival.

Co-Author: Victorian author Kylie Miller has always been a writer, pumping out stories for her parents as a child before embarking on a career as an award-winning journalist and corporate writer. Kylie’s first children’s picture book, Heroes of Black Summer, shares her personal experience with Australia’s devastating bushfires and the heroism and support that followed. The book provides fire-affected communities with a tool to support healing and recovery, and to help children process trauma. Kylie lives in East Gippsland with her partner, Brett, two rescued greyhounds Teddy and Dotty, and a 16-year-old cat called Molly. Molly is the boss of them all. 

Illustrator: Karen Erasmus is an artist, illustrator and designer working in a beautiful bayside town near Melbourne, Australia. Her illustrations and designs focus on colour, character and story. She has been illustrating for publishers and businesses since 2011.

* Features heroic stories from the 2019-20 Australian bushfires. * Beautiful illustrations bring the poignant stories to life. * Helps children to deal with trauma, including the experience of bushfire. * Promotes resilience in children, while strengthening the connection between children and adults as they read and heal together. * Provides fire-affected communities with a tool to manage stress, anxiety and depression to support healing and recovery. * Promotion on AG website. * Advertising in AG journal.

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