The Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria are something I’ll never forget and I was a whole stretch of water away in another state.
It was such a hot summer and most of Australia had been in drought for years. It wasn’t all that surprising that were would be bushfires, but the scale was something no one could ever begin to comprehend.
173 people died in the fires, countless more where left homeless.
I worked a week of graveyard shifts, publishing updates overnight to the relevant ABC websites. The fires lasted for weeks. The after effect has changed how we view and handle bushfires and it changed the way my work operates during an emergency. Hopefully, we never have to experience something on that scale ever again.
Internet, earthquakes and ‘flu
2009 also saw one of the worst modern-day earthquakes in Italy when nearly 300 people died in L’Aquila, which is Hobart’s sister city. There are quite a few migrants in Hobart who came from the region around L’Aquila.
I, along with many more people, got swine flu in 2009. As I don’t have other health complications, it wasn’t a big deal. Just made me ill for a week, as the flu tends to do.
The Australian Government launched a project called the National Broadband Network in 2009. The idea is to give 97% of the population access to high speed internet through fibre optics. It’s a slow process, as it’s not anywhere near it’s target 3 years later. Our internet in Australia really is a joke.
Death of a former black man
Michael Jackson died in 2009. Can’t say this had much effect on me. I’ve never cared for Jackson’s music, so whether he’s alive or dead doesn’t really bother me.
Lily Allen complained that it wasn’t fair in 2009. Mumford and Sons swore in a folk ditty and Florence and the Machine begun to scream at us about something to do with dogs. She hasn’t shut up since.
I got a cat
In 2009 we were living in North Hobart, in a tiny cottage with a great garden. My little sister had been living in a share house with a number of animals, and then she moved. There was a cat at the house that was taken by one of the women from the share house. She kept the cat for a bit, completely neglecting him, and then declared she didn’t want him anymore. So we took him. He arrived covered in dreads, as she never brushed, or even touched the long-haired cat. He had no bed, no bowl and had never been taken to the vet. We took him to the vet, got him chipped and snipped and shaved. He’s still with us.