Real stories from Australia's craziest family.

the body at buffalo creek


thursday , 11TH october 2018



This week a vigil was held in my local park for the woman whose body was found there. A small group braved the weather, electric tea light candles twinkled amidst the trees on the patch of earth where she had been discovered and Eucalyptus smoke from an Aboriginal smoking ceremony wafted up into the branches.


I felt privileged to speak at this sacred event and stand in remembrance alongside wonderful people in our community. These are my words.

suggested soundtrack for this blog 'It Is The Nature Of Dreams To End'

It was a little after seven in the morning when I sat down to work on Wednesday October 3rd. I'd not been sitting long before the quiet of the early morning was interrupted by sirens – and then more sirens. So many, so loud, police and ambulance speeding down the hill – that I thought there must have been a terrible accident.


I turned on the radio for news and watched the traffic through the trees which continued to move freely. Puzzled, I went back to my desk to continue working. Then, the sound of a helicopter echoed in the valley. I watched alongside my children as it hovered persistently – an eye looking down from the sky.


'Get on your bike,' I told my eldest, 'Go find out what's happened down the road.'


My son returned with the news – it was worse than an accident. An accident implies an awful mistake, but this was deliberate – a woman's body had been found in Buffalo Creek Reserve. Evil had come into our backyard and the place that we love, into our home.


Over the next few days I felt a range of emotions: shock, fear, disbelief, deep sadness, grief, and outrage.
I scanned the news each day for news of the woman, but there was only silence.


And as each day passed I wondered with increasing impatience how – in this age of smart phones and social media and incessant connectivity – a woman's body could go unclaimed?


Then finally, six days after her body was discovered, the news broke – and I heard her name for the first time: Nicole.


Now I could see her face and I watched footage of her travelling by public transport – and I noted her quirky dress sense with her pink hat... and this told me she was fun and outgoing, and unafraid to express her individuality.


I noted that she wore sensible shoes (like me!). That she carried a backpack and her belongings in a reusable shopping bag... and this told me she was an adventurer, that she was spontaneous and independent... and thoughtful and smart.


And she wore black eyeliner, (also like me!)... she was expressive and creative.


A photo of her passing through a train turnstile had captured her smiling. She was the type of person who smiled at strangers, which told me she was trusting and open-hearted, a kindred spirit. She was one of us.


And so I hope that, like all of us, she is remembered for her life, not her death. And I hope this poem I found and modified a little, will speak on behalf of her memory and honour the soul of the woman who came to rest in our backyard – Nicole.



A Song Of Living

by Amelia Josephine Burr*



Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.

I have run and leapt with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast,

My cheek like a drowsy child, to the face of the earth I have pressed.

And because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.


I have kissed young Love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end.

I have struck my hand like a seal, in the loyal hand of a friend.

I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of life lived well.

I have longed for death in the darkness, and risen alive out of hell.

But because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.


I give a share of my soul to the land where my course is run.

I know that others shall hear the voice of this life undone.

I know that no flower, nor smile, was in vain on the path I'd begun,

As one looks on a face through a window, I am now whole,
complete love – I am one.

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.



*with modifications by Katie M Little.

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