In Australia we tend to remember and thank the paramedics, firefighters, police, the SES at this time of year because this is when, as a country and communities within, we get into the most trouble.
Summer is a time for holidaying, camping in the mountains, fishing, swimming in the sea and tragically many of us get into trouble and have to be helped.
Anyone who has visited will know Australia is a beautiful country with stunning landscapes along the coast...
in the interior....
And up into the mountains.
One of my favourite Australian artists is John Wilson who lives in the Blue Mountains close to Sydney. I have chosen one of his landscapes to illustrate the spectacular beauty of our mountains.
But Australia is also a harsh and unforgiving country which at the moment is experiencing the highest temperatures ever recorded here. The heat coupled with the drought that a large portion of the country is suffering ignites the threat of bushfires which have always been a part of the Australian landscape but now are occurring months earlier than normal.
The oil painting below by early Australian artist Eugene von Guerard shows the destructive force of nature in Western Victoria in 1859.
So please, let us take a moment to thank and reflect on the huge sacrifice made every day by the First Responders around the globe. I have chosen this powerful digital image of a fireman by Ben Hoole to represent the courage and dedication possessed by firefighters, police, paramedics, Special Emergency Service people.