This website uses technical and assimilated cookies as well as user-profiling third party cookies in a grouped format to simplify online navigation and to protect the use of services. To find out more or to refuse consent to the use of one or any of the cookies, click here. Closing this banner, browsing this page or clicking on anything will be taken as consent to the use of cookies.


Order of Malta Australia


Poem from a victim of the 2020 Australian Bushfires


So how are you?
We’re going okay, I say.
Back to normal then?
You must be…
It’s been nearly three months,
You’re back at work
So good on you, you’re back to normal.

I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut
Back to normal ??
Are you kidding?
I walk and talk the same
On the outside
I work and appear the same
On the outside
But, no, I’m not back to normal

You see, I have no home, no anchor, no sanctuary.
I’ve lost so much
Yet I’ve lost nothing at all, considering my family are safe.
I have new clothes
I have new things
But given the choice I would like my own things back please.
New is nice, what was mine was nicer.

My life is a contradiction.
My home is destroyed but I’m living in a beautiful house
My kitchen is burnt metal cutlery tangled in the remains of a drawer.
But I have more kitchenware supplies than I could ever use.
I am grateful, so grateful, my family is ok
Thankful for friendship and community support
But I’m restless, uneasy and exhausted .

My routine is all wrong
My friends and neighbours are scattered
Trying to reconnect
But blown like the burnt leaves in other directions.

What can help me?
Who can help me,
Everyone? No-one?
Do I just get on with it?
I need a cleared block
Will it give me a purpose?

Just be patient I’m told.
I feel nearly three months of destruction and no change is patience,
No clearing yet,
“In three weeks we will start”
That was four weeks ago
Yesterday: “we will start in two more weeks”
No control, no way to move on.. yet.

Get informed, I thought.
So I did.
Try to be a positive mover and shaker,
I tried.
Get the facts, I agree it’s easier to deal with then,
But the facts and the reality are, it’s taking a long time,
Taking a toll.
No cleanup for most, just yet

So, no, not back to normal
Not ungrateful but strained.
So tired of this mess,
Of this situation,
Of no progress.
Of broken deadlines.
Desperately trying to move on and be accepting,
But, unfortunately, disappointingly,
Sadly, no, not back to normal.

Is there even a normal anymore?



The Walsh family lost their house in Lake Conjola in the 2020 Australian Bushfires and are one of the families the Order of Malta have been communicating with regularly. Katrina (bottom left) expressed her (& many local resident's) frustration in the lack of progress of the rebuilding. They are safe and being well cared for, but they realise that the rebuilding will still take time and want things to start as soon as possible. Katrina wrote a poem describing her feelings on the current situation which she was willing for us to share.

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.