Rhonda Abotomey
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In a 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission public consultation, Rhonda Abotomey raised her survivor’s voice imploring the Commissioners to approach the inquiry as Ambassadors for Common: -for common sense, common decency, compassion, communication and community. As part of Rhonda’s trauma response to losing three family members in the bushfires, she has become a passionate advocate for improved trauma preparedness and recovery. She was a Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission witness, member of the VBRRA Bushfire Bereaved Advisory Group (BBAG) and co-author of the BBAG legacy document. In 2012, while continuing to navigate Black Saturday’s aftermath, Rhonda first heard the term Post-Traumatic Growth – it was a defining ‘light-bulb’ moment. In 2013 she partnered with a team of University of Melbourne researchers on a project titled Reconceptualising and supporting disaster recovery as growth: Informed by people affected by the Victorian 2009 ‘Black Saturday’ Bushfires.

PTG and PTS – reflecting on the trauma response of growth amongst the decline

For those involved, in any capacity, with the Victorian 2009 ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires your experiences and losses are respectfully acknowledged. The lives of thousands of people, animals, businesses and places were decimated on the day and during the aftermath. The…

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