The 2002/2003 bushfire season has now become a part of Australian bushfire history; nature showed us all new lessons during this period. We learned how resilient we are as a Community. We learned a new respect for bushfire and its effects. These were valuable lessons, which we will remember for a long time. Since most people agree that history has a tendency to repeat itself, nature will probably offer us even more challenging bushfire seasons in the future. Now, from the lesson of 2002/2003 we all have a better understanding of bushfires and know more about how to control them.

I want to give my personal thanks to all the bushfire fighters. Without their help, dedication and commitment the bushfires would have destroyed many more homes and facilities. I also want to thank the Emergency Services volunteers and all other supporters who helped us during the 2002/2003 bushfire season.

I have seen these people first hand and witnessed their dedication and the utmost that they put into their jobs, which at times were extremely difficult. As Chief Minister and a member of the Canberra Community I was humbled and proud to be a part of this dedication as it allows me to show my gratitude to this amazing group of people.

This commemorative book graphically illustrates the challenges that faced our bushfire fighters and Emergency Services volunteers during the January 2003 fires, and the Canberra Community will gain a new and healthy respect for the men and women that put themselves in harms way to protect our Community.

Jon Stanhope
ACT Chief Minister

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Last updated 4 November 2014