The past 12 months sure have been one hell of a time.
This year we have seen the worst of nature, but we have also seen the very best of human nature.
I consider myself fortunate to live and work in the amazing region that we all do.
On the darkest of days our sense of community, our ability to put our differences aside and to step up proved to me what I have known all along, our community is a shining light that will get us through.
I can't remember another time when we have had to face the challenges of the magnitude this year has thrown at us all.
As we near the anniversary of the start of the Black Summer fires, we must pause and remember who we are, what we've endured and where we are now heading.
I am immensely proud and honoured to serve the people of this region. I couldn't be more proud of the efforts of every single person, in every community that has been affected.
We have seen incredible acts of bravery with people going above and beyond what they themselves probably thought they would ever have to do. Unbelievable selflessness and a willingness to help others despite their own struggles and heartaches.
My greatest concern going forward is that we don't leave people behind, physically and psychologically.
We are an amazingly strong community and we must continue to build on that strength.
Government can throw as much money into recovery as it can, however at the end of the day, we know we can rebuild homes and businesses, but are we equipped to rebuild human beings?
Each of us has a role to play in rebuilding lives, helping others by being kind, patient and understanding and knowing that every day will be different.
READ MORE: Bega MP's climate stance welcomed
There is no right and wrong way to feel after what we have all endured.
Please ask for help if you need it, don't ever feel you are in this on your own.
I hope we never have to again endure the pain, sadness and fear that the 2019/2020 Black Summer delivered to us, but I know as a community we can face any challenge head on, be united and stand strong.
Drought, bushfires and a global pandemic have tested us, but we are stronger together and must remain united in our recovery.
My greatest concern going forward is that we don't leave people behind, physically and psychologically