It's been a rocky 18 months for Tathra, but it seems the resilient seaside town keeps going from strength to strength.
On Saturday night, the Tathra Sea Eagles Rugby League Football Club was announced as the Country Rugby League Club of the Year for 2019.
The prestigious award was presented to club president Peter Finucane and secretary David Porter at the CRL Community Awards ceremony held at the Holiday Inn Potts Point, Sydney.
In 2018, Tathra's seniors had just re-joined the Group 16 competition for the first time in four years with a reserve grade and league tag team.
Just as the competition was about to commence, the town was devastated by a major bushfire that destroyed more than 70 homes and was declared a national emergency.
Amazingly, the community gained strength from the bushfire that saw the junior and senior rugby league clubs unite.
"The juniors were declining in numbers as well because we didn't have the seniors as a pathway for them," Mr Finucane said.
"But when we got the seniors back in, the numbers came up, and combining with the juniors we've made it a real family club. They all wanted to play for their home town - they didn't want to play anywhere else.
"But then, when we'd finally got going, bang went the bushfires and we thought 'that's it, we're finished'.
"People had lost their homes, we couldn't go hitting up business for sponsorship after they'd lost half their business."
However, as the town rallied around each other, so did the footy club.
"Some were saying 'bugger this, this won't end us'," Mr Finucane said.
"Resilience is probably the word to use.
"A lot of people are struggling, but football is also something to take your mind off things.
"We spoke to other clubs from out west on Saturday night, some are being hammered hard by drought. They said it's the footy that keeps them going.
"Maybe it's a way to focus on other things - or even a good chance to talk about them as well.
"It's strengthening these communities."
Winning weekend for Tathra
Mr Finucane almost wasn't in Sydney to accept the CRL award.
The Tathra Sea Eagles have had such a positive resurgence they were in Group 16 finals action at the weekend.
"We told them, we can't come up, we've got teams in the semis. But they said 'nope, you have to come'! I guess they knew who was getting the awards.
"They were all lovely people up there, from all around the state and all doing similar things helping their communities out."
Mr Finucane said mental health was a big push at many clubs, including at Tathra, particularly given the stresses of bushfire and drought on players, their families and community.
"It takes guts to speak up
"We've made that a big thing - if you need to talk, we're here, we're all part of a family."
Mr Finucane said there were plans afoot to make the focus on mental health more concrete next season with potential game-day events and player visits, yet to be organised (his nephew Dale Finucane is an NRL ambassador for beyondblue).
Next season is also looking healthy for the club with a bit more certainty around numbers.
However, following Saturday night's awards ceremony, it was a "rush job" for Mr Finucane and club secretary David Porter to make it back home in time for Sunday's game.
"We were just praying for Rex to be on time, but the trains decided to play up, having trackwork done on the Sunday.
"We made it just in time for the plane and got to the field half an hour before the [first grade] game started."
To add to the club's, and town's, celebrations, Tathra won that game to book a spot in this coming weekend's major semi-final against the Bega Roosters.
Tathra's Aussie rules club also won at the weekend to claim a spot in the SCAFL grand final.
"We'll be able to paint the town really well hopefully!" Mr Finucane said.