Just over 10 months since bushfires decimated the Cobargo and Quaama districts, their communities have come together as one as part of the healing process.
Over 700 people attended the Out of the Fires: Plant Giveaway Fun Day planned by Cobargo Green Recovery in Cobargo on Saturday.
There were games, entertainment and a long line of people waiting to pick out some of the 5000-plus plants grown by the Weston Creek and Bega Rotary Clubs as well as some locals.
After a welcome to country by Koori choir Djinma Yilaga, Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said what the shire saw and what its community had been through this year "has just been incredible".
"Recovery is going to be a long haul," he said.
Cr Fitzpatrick singled out the efforts of Bega Valley Shire Cr Tony Allen during the crisis, saying he remembered seeing Cr Allen approach every table in the Cobargo Hotel when it opened after the fires, asking every person if they were okay.
Afterwards, Cr Allen had some strong words to say.
"We've all been to hell and back and we're still battling to come out the other side," he said.
He said it would take the community a long time to get back to where it was before the fires passed through and the memories of that time would last for many, many years.
Cr Allen said several times that if anyone needed help or someone to talk to, then they should reach out.
"We came together as a community and that's why we're so strong today and that's why we'll survive together into the future," he said.
"Most of all, make sure you reach out; if you're in need or you want some help, just say so."
Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain also visited the event, saying that while governments may come and go it is the communities that remain.
"Today is a testament to how communities come together and how we work in the face of disaster," she said.