Tag: Ms Marion

Child steering family to safety becomes face of Australia’s bushfire crisis

Mallacoota 3892

A Mallacoota mother, whose photo of her 11-year-old son fleeing bushfires has been splashed across news websites and front pages, says she had no idea how much impact it would have when she took the photo.

Key points:

  • Ms Marion and Finn left in a boat with her other son and the family dog
  • They escaped on a power boat to Goodwin Sands with other families
  • Thousands of people had gathered on the shore taking refuge from an approaching bushfire

Allison Marion took the photo of her son Finn driving a boat to safety after the sky in the far-east Victorian seaside town turned blazing red on Tuesday.

The striking image of Finn showed him steering the boat as it carried Allison, her other son Caleb and the family dog, away from the shore of the popular holiday spot to shelter on Goodwin Sands.

Ms Marion said her family made the escape on to the water with a group of other residents after enacting their fire plan as fire hit the town, causing what residents described as total devastation.

Follow our live blog for updates on bushfires and the evacuations.

She said she was taking the photo “to record our story for our family”.

Video: Man films video from boat off Mallacoota coastline

(ABC News)

But the image has since been shared across news sites and newspapers as a dramatic visual of the impact the fires are having on Australian towns like Mallacoota.

Thousands of people were gathered at the Mallacoota boat ramp as fires threatened the town on Tuesday.

Finn’s image featured on the front covers of The Daily Telegraph and The West Australian.

Ms Marion said she was proud of how her family and her community pulled together in the emergency.

“Both my boys are little legends, they were very calm,” she said.

“Finn drove the boat and my other son looked after the dog in the boat and [I am] very proud of both of them.

“We were lucky enough to be with a group of other people from Mallacoota and other families who assisted us and we followed them out to Goodwin Sands where we located for the day and there were a lot of Mallacoota people sheltering.”


People seek refuge at Mallacoota Wharf on Tuesday. (Instagram: @travelling_aus_family)

Fortunately for Ms Marion, once she headed back to the shore and returned to her house she found her home and her street were saved from the disaster.

But her thoughts remained with those in the township who lost homes in the blaze.

“Our street escaped the fire somehow, however, I feel for many people in our community who have lost their homes. It’s just truly saddening,” she said.

She said it was comforting to be with other members of her community the moment disaster hit the town.

“I couldn’t thank those other families enough for letting us go with them out there and we’ve all sheltered together out there and our boys had some friends out there and we were all able to support each other,” she said.

“Mallacoota is a special place to live and there’s very special people and I’m sure the community will come together.”

Video: Thousands of residents on standby at Mallacoota beach as fire front approaches town

(ABC News)

With higher temperatures forecast for Saturday, Ms Marion said it was important residents stayed on high alert.

More bushfire coverage:

“I do think everyone still needs to be vigilant with the hotter weather coming — potentially the winds going back to the north,” she said.

“We certainly need to be vigilant and support each other and continue to look out for properties and lives.

“And I think that is the most important thing, that everybody is safe.”


This house in Mallacoota did not survive the blaze. (Facebook: Jason Selmes)

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

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