Helpless as homeland burns, Aussie actor puts pen to paper
As an expat based in Los Angeles, Australian actor Ben Lawson found himself horrified and helpless as bushfires raged back home.
Photos and videos posted online from the frontlines were confronting.
“It wasn’t a country or a place that I recognised, that was familiar to me really,” he told Deborah Knight.
“It just didn’t seem like the place that we all know and love.”
Inspired by the unity of all Australians in the face of such a disaster, Mr Lawson poured out his emotions into a poem titled ‘To My Country’, which went viral when he posted it on Instagram.
Click PLAY below to hear an excerpt
The poem has been published as a book by Allen & Unwin, with all proceeds to be donated to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.
The book has been beautifully illustrated by Bruce Whatley, “one of Australia’s master craftsmen”, who himself lived through the fires on the NSW South Coast.
“My design efforts have not improved since I was about six-years-old, so I didn’t do anything.
“I let Bruce do his magic, and added … a suggestion every now and again!”
Click PLAY below to hear the full interview