A heartfelt and revealing story about home, loss and recovery will be launched at Four Winds later this month.
Creative talent Milena Cifali is an award-winning singer-songwriter, classical guitarist and poet who, along with her partner Jim Horvath, lost her home, instruments and beloved parrots in the Mallacoota bushfires on New Year's Eve, 2019.
Out of adversity, Ms Cifali has written Mallacoota Time, a book sharing her personal journey towards recovery against the larger backdrop of an unprecedented bushfire season and the coronavirus pandemic.
The book showcases her talents of writing, poetry, lyrics and photography to create a stirring and timely work.
At Ms Cifali's book launch, during the River of Art Festival, she will perform songs, read extracts from the book and speak about her experience of losing everything in the Mallacoota fires.
"My partner Jim and I met in Bermagui about nine years ago - as much as we adored Mallacoota and it was home, Bermagui was our second home," she said.
"As musicians, we played up and down the coast and became a part of the community there.
"When I decided I was ready to bring the launch of my book to the South Coast, Bermi was a good central point, particularly with the Victorian border closed and also being close to Cobargo, who were also pretty much flattened in the fires.
"The River of Art Festival was coming up, I applied to be a part of that and was accepted.
"I know the Four Winds pavilion can be hard to get into and was amazed I got in, I sent them a book and they decided to go ahead.
"I am really looking forward to it and feel very blessed to be part of the history and future of Four Winds," Ms Cifali said.
Now based in Canberra, Ms Cifali hopes her book will contribute to the collective healing of those impacted by the devastating bushfire season.
At its core is the search for home and its aim to connect with Australia's fire-ravaged communities and to provide solace, facilitating healing for those suffering loss within these communities.
"This book really came straight from my heart," Ms Cifali said.
"I was writing to unravel my emotions and in sharing my journey and story I might possibly, hopefully help others who were affected by the bushfires.
"I hope my story connects with a lot of people.
"I plan to go up and down the coast from Bairnsdale to Wollongong, to meet other people affected and see if I can help them in some way," Ms Cifali said.
Mallacoota Time is available for purchase online via Echo Books and will also be available at the upcoming launch on Saturday, September 26 at Four Winds in Barragga Bay.
The event is free but numbers are limited owing to COVID-19 restrictions, so booking is essential via Four Winds.