As bushfires raged across Australia during the 2019-20 summer, former Geelong and GWS Giants ruckman Dawson Simpson was on the firebreak fighting to save Victoria’s Alpine Shire.
Driving towards the bushfire on New Year’s Eve became the moment Simpson realised the enormity of what his small town of Myrtleford was facing.
“It was a really raging fire and it was quite confronting… driving toward the fire and seeing the enormity of the cloud, the ash, the darkness and the glow,” he told Tackle Your Feelings.
Simpson, along with many members of the Myrtleford Saints football team, worked tirelessly throughout the summer period to save local towns and homes as the fires encroached on their properties.
Four months on, Simpson is thankful for the ties that bond the local community together, striving to create a safe space where people can thrive.
After 11 years in the AFL system, Simpson understands the importance of creating safe spaces where people can be successful on and off-the-field.
“We can do something that is so much more important than being successful,” he said.
“Whilst we strive for success, it’s more important that we strive for significance.”
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