Children and families in fire-affected regions will benefit from a children’s picture book telling the
stories of ‘heroes’ who helped protect East Gippsland during and after the region’s terrifying 2019-20
summer of bushfire.
Heroes of Black Summer was written by Kylie Miller and Craig Sheather to help children process the
trauma they experienced during the fires. It was illustrated by Karen Erasmus and published by
The book was published with support from a One Good Community Wellbeing Grant through the
Gippsland Primary Health Network.
The authors hope Heroes of Black Summer will promote resilience in children, while strengthening the
connection between children and adults as they read and heal together.
The book was launched today, Friday 9 July, 2021, by Nationals MHR for Gippsland Darren Chester together with CFA Chief Officer, Jason Heffernan, local CFA brigades and local community members, many of them affected by the 2020 bushfires.
More than 58 per cent of East Gippsland was burnt in the fires, which raged for three months and has
had a devastating and long-lasting impact on the community.
The pair was inspired to write the book after Craig met Kylie at her burnt Wairewa property while
covering the fires for Australian Geographic magazine.
The authors are donating copies of the book to children and communities impacted by bushfires
across the region and 25 per cent of proceeds from sales will be donated to the Gippsland
Emergency Relief Fund.
Read the full media release below.
Pictured top are two heroes of the book, Wairewa CFA Brigade captain, Julian Davies and his son Sam. Below, book author Kylie Miller (holding book), book illustrator Karen Erasmus and CFA Chief Officer, Jason Heffernan are pictured with members of the Wairewa CFA Brigade at the book launch at the Nowa Nowa General Store.