Russell joined with other Members, including the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, in speaking to the anniversary of the tragic bushfires which swept through parts of Victoria a year ago.

…On Jon Faine’s ABC morning program on the bushfire recovery, months after the fires: a woman’s voice. She had lost her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren to the Black Saturday fires. The unveiled tears flooded the airways of the ABC. Her unbridled grief called a halt to all other thoughts as we entered into her daily pain, her broken heart and her immense loss. As her story unfolded, tears fell freely as I stood locked into the moment, a life exposed for every listener to hear and feel.
Each of us carries such burdens of tragedy in our own way. Some choose life and strike out with renewed hope; others change and are diminished by their experience. For me, there is no condemnation as to how you may cope. Our task is to understand that grief has different forms and, having not stood in the shoes of the grieving, allow for time, however long, to heal, restore and mend.