Tiona Hall's mother's last wish was to die in her own home. Sadly, due to the bushfire crisis and Border fire, she was unable to fulfil that wish.
Tiona has shared her family's story of resilience and courage in the face of the bushfire crisis in her own words.
"My mother, Toni Locklier had been very sick and in a lot of pain for a long time," Tiona said.
"On December 29 Mum's doctors explained her wishes to stop treatment and do things her way.
"Her heart, lungs and kidneys were failing. After the meeting one by one she asked us all if it was ok for her to let go. Of course we agreed.
"An ambulance was booked for January 2, to bring her home with pallative care as she wanted to be at home surrounded by family, her dog Bullet and her parrot Paulie.
"Unfortunately because of the fires they couldn't let her come home. She was so angry at the fires.
"We all went to see her as often as possible and even had Christmas at the ICU.
"In her final days my dad, Max did not leave her side. They had been married 32 years.
"On Saturday January 4, as Eden was evacuated, I moved to a room at the Whale Fisher Hotel across from Eden Fishermens Club which was an official evacuation centre.
"There were 22 of us there. I spent the day collecting donations for fishos and helping prepare my home, neighbours' homes and the hotel. Three of my children had evacuated and I didn't know where they were. I had three with me, aged 15, 9 and four.
"I stayed up until 3am watering the building and watching for embers.
"Sunday was like doomsday, it was very dark and raining ash. I drove my car back to a few of our homes collecting frypans, eggs, bacon, anything I could find. We all ate and then went back to getting the building ready.
"At about 11am police started driving past on loudspeakers telling us to leave now as they cannot protect our lives. It was chaos as people scrambled to get out of Eden.
"We had a boat at the wharf ready to go if needed - an officer informed us the wharf was no longer safe, so four adults and seven kids left in a three-car convoy to Tura Beach evacuation centre, where I was reunited with my three boys.
"Not long after we arrived the hospital called to tell me my mother had passed. I ran outside and it started raining.
"Mum passed at 3.38pm, I got a text from dad at 3.44pm. I had promised mum that I would not let dad be alone when she passed, so I ignored advice and drove to the hospital to get dad.
"We tried to get accommodation there but it was full and dad did not want to be in an evacuation centre after losing his wife. So we drove home via Tura Beach, where we got the rest of the family.
"We went past the roadblock on Princes Highway and headed for Eden via Nethercoat Road, not knowing how close we were to the fire front.
"It was a scary drive, with lots of thick smoke, burnt trees and scared wildlife. I explained to the firemen that we just wanted to go home. They gave us an escort to the Princes Highway, lights flashing.
"Mum got us all back together and guided us home safely. Our prayers were answered.
"The next few days I focused on helping my neighbours get our homes ready as the fire was heading west towards our fencelines.
"Two of my neighbours spent all their time working on a fire break between the bush and our fences with their own tractor.
"On January 8 Bega Valley Shire Council advised us to leave. We were on the west-side front line. Six households stayed and worked together.
"We even kicked out fence palings between properties so we could access each others homes to assist. We had a brilliant day Friday and Saturday with all the kids wetting the lawns and having a ball in the mud, while the adults took turns patrolling for embers.
"By Saturday the fire had changed direction and we were blessed. I now know all of my neighbours by first name and we plan on having a community barbeque on our fire break soon.
"A lot of people in nearby villages were not so lucky & our hearts go out to them.
"Eden is a very close community, we look after each other. The CWA has had their hall open feeding the firefighters since new year, from community donations and local businesses.
"I purchased some stock feed to deliver to affected families in Eden, including the owners of the hotel where I sought shelter, who lost their home in Kiah.
"I want my story to get out to honour my mother who was denied her wish to come home because of the fires."