For many Australians, 2020 has been the worst year in living memory. First bushfires and now a pandemic. Covid 19 has taken our attention away from the destruction of the bushfires. Many victims are still homeless with little money filtering through across all bushfire zones. From the Prime Minister of Australia and all the way down to the RFS chiefs, many had a hand in this disaster.

For all of us who lost our houses, who suffered the trauma, who got badly burnt, and on behalf of those who sadly perished, we want our stories heard, so this can never happen again.

Using their art as a pathway to recovery following the New Years Eve bushfires which killed two people and destroyed 114 homes in the area, 5 local artists tell the story of that horror night, and their steps to healing and peace for themselves, and for their community.

‘We are Conjola’ is a story of survival. Told by those who were there with footage that shows fire like it has never been seen before. But it also puts a value on how important art is to community.

We want the world to become aware of the politics that caused the bushfires on NYE. It is time to stop making short term financial decisions and start making long term environmental ones.

For fire fighting organisations to look at alternatives to back burning such as ancient indigenous ways of hazard reduction.

We hope that volunteers fire fighters will receive proper training and wage.

For governments to value artists and properly support their craft.

A historical documentation of events, told by locals for government, fire authorities and council to learn from.

On New Year’s Eve 2019, Ash Brennan lost his house in the Conjola Park bushfire which nearly killed his brother and many others who stayed to fight. From a Perth hotel room Ash saw the first image of what used to be his house in the background of a news reporter.

After almost being wiped off the map, a traumatised community waited for help. But it never came. Conjola was abandoned and left for dead. Local artists then started creating. They needed to heal. It gave the community hope and solidified their journey to recovery, together. Ash hopes that this film will be part of that recovery.

Director Ash Brennan said “This film has given Conjola a voice. Up until now, no one has listened. Any awards for this film are accepted on behalf of the people of Conjola, my production team and all those who supported us”.