Before 2003 Canberra was often derided by outsiders as a city without a soul. That all changed on January 18 that year when a devastating firestorm swept in from the mountains, taking four lives, destroying nearly 500 homes and galvanising a community.
To mark the 10th anniversary of that tragedy, The Canberra Times asked 40 men and women from different walks of life who inspired us with their resilience and determination to share their journey of recovery from our darkest day. For some, the events of January 2003 are distant memories, for others the emotions are still very raw. These are their stories.