We have also had extensive flooding in three states and two shark attacks here in Sydney which has left one navy diver without a hand and a leg. The politics has continued as normal, thankfully the damage this week has been to the Opposition which means no tears from this one eyed blogger.
However this comment by Rick Feneley in the Sydney Morning Herald says it all.
It must have been even more eye-opening for first-time visitors to Australia, who've had a baptism of fire, flood, sharks and, if they could bear to watch, backstabbing politics. Surely the most treacherous place on earth, this sodden, sunburnt country.
But if visitors looked again they would have discovered, too, a big-hearted nation that responds to its grief with astonishing generosity; a can-do, soldier-on country whose people can cry with candour but who temper their mourning with good humour and even comic relief.
Steve Nash is one of 10 volunteers with the Kinglake Country Fire Authority whose own homes burnt down while they were out saving others'. When he found his still-burning house, what did he do? He took the clothes off the line.
"They were untouched," he said. "We've still got some underwear and socks. If I'd known it was going to come through I would have done a bigger load of washing."
Visitors should understand that this is the quintessence of our humour. Understated. Stoic. Matter-of-fact. Downright funny and heartbreaking all at once.
Probably our most famous poem by Dorothea Mackellar is 'My Country'.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!