The love of family and friends is probably the one most important lesson I have learnt from all of this.Greg "Webby" Webb
While he concedes he didn't need to be exposed to a 200 metre wall of merciless flames to learn what's important, the New Year's Eve fires showed Greg Webb the love, friendship and community he's surrounded by.
Greg, better known as Webby from the YouTube series The Webby Walks, had his Lake Conjola home and almost everything he owned destroyed.
He and his wife are planning their new build and hope to begin construction in January. For Greg, there was never any question of whether he would rebuild his life here or not.
"Our family has been connected to this property for over 55 years," he said.
"I was a 10-year old boy when a good mate of my father built the original house as a holiday home. I remember my Dad and his mate pouring concrete and me running around wanting to help. They were both yelling at me to just get out of the way as they barrowed concrete to pour footings and slabs."
He said the area is in his blood, as it is for his two sons, their partners and his beautiful new grandson, seven-month-old Koa James Webb.
"The love of family and friends is probably the one most important lesson I have learnt from all of this. My health and appreciation of the simple pleasures of life have been magnified to a point where I will never doubt how lucky I am to have them."
For Greg, it's the fond memories he has of spending time with family and friends perched up on the verandah overlooking the lake that keep him going as he navigates the rules and regulations of their new construction.
He's even looking forward to the learning experience of working with solely steel and concrete construction - there won't be a stick of timber anywhere.
"This journey of discovery has been an amazing education for me as I have a building background.
"I'm very excited with the use of new materials and building practices that are evolving as a result of these natural disasters that are going to become far more frequent due to climate change," he said.
"It is not the fault of council and local Government who are making progress slow.
"They are there to tick boxes and make sure that we are all moving forward with good building practice and also primarily the safety of us all," Greg said.
"It is solely our own decision to live in the bush and someone has to make us accountable."
Greg said the support he received from the community over the last 12 months has been amazing.
He said the volunteers who gave up their time, food, clothing and emotional support will never be forgotten.
Financial help from charities, donations and continued government assistance has also been much-appreciated.
But while he describes himself as a "glass half full" kind of person, Greg said there's no denying there's been some very tough times.
He's moved four times this year and it doesn't get easier.
"We would never have thought in a million years that we would be displaced at our age, in our late 60s," he said.
"This week I decided to reach out to the team at Shoalhaven Mental Health just as a check on how we are travelling.
"I've never done anything like this before but will just take in what others have to offer from a mental health perspective of things.
"Should be a new lesson in life!"
The positives definitely haven't outweighed the negatives for Greg this year, but they are still there.
He's been blown away by how people banded together to support each other. He's also realised the value of what he has.
"Having lost everything I own, except the clothes I stood in, my work van, and my wife's car, I have learnt that we acquire and hang on to far too many unnecessary items in our life in order to achieve happiness," he said.