A soldier using her skills in Operation Bushfire Assist has had the chance to reunite with her parents who had been trapped by the flames in the Mallacoota inferno.
Private Brodie Scott, a local who became a reserve Driver Specialist after a gap year in Army in 2017, has returned as part of Victoria's Joint Task Force 646, the ADF-wide support to state authorities.
Private Scott, of the 4th Combat Service Support Battalion in Melbourne, reflected on how great the chance was to get out and help, especially in her hometown.
“Now that I’ve arrived I’m looking forward to helping out anyway that I can,” Private Scott said.
“To know that mum and dad were still there during the fires was terrifying.
“I’m really glad that they’re okay, that the family home is still intact and now that I’ve arrived I’m looking forward to helping out anyway that I can.”
In coming days, Private Scott will be transporting diesel throughout Mallacoota to run generators at the power station supporting the area, as well as fuel ADF support vehicles and firefighting crew vehicles.
The community was pleased to see Private Scott and all the other ADF personnel in town to help.
Local residents and family friends, Barb and Drew Morland, live in one of Mallacoota's worst-affected areas.
“My son and my husband were amazing," Mrs Morland said.
“They stayed to protect our house until it was no longer safe, then headed down to the beach.
“When they saw an opportunity to come back to keep fighting, they did. They’re the reason our house is still standing.”
Private Scott’s mother, Kathy, was excited to see her daughter return and had the highest praise for all the agencies involved during the bushfires.
“It’s been hard not having our girls [Brodie and her sister] here,” Mrs Scott said.
“It’s been amazing having the emergency services around to assist.
Private Scott's father, Marty Scott, said the family was "very proud that Brodie put her hand up".
Private Scott and others in the ADF are continuing to support the efforts led by all the Victorian state authorities in charge of fighting the fires and working with all those affected.
A video of Private Scott's story is available here.