The past few weeks - indeed the past couple of months - have been a confusing and terrifying maelstrom of unprecedented weather and terrifying fires. It has been difficult to reconcile the time of year - our traditional holiday season - with what could well become the new normal.
Stiflingly hot summers; longer, more severe bushfires; smoke filling up our vast, clean spaces.
And while there are many things Australians now have every right to demand from their leaders, for the average person, the basic requirements can be summed up easily: people reading and watching the news want coverage of the bushfire crisis that is timely, accurate and accessible.
And amidst the rolling unpredictability that comes with covering anything that is weather or natural disaster-related, there has been one figure who has remained something of a beacon of stability.
The head of the NSW Rural Fire Service, Shane Fitzsimmons - the man tasked with defending his state from the inferno - has been exemplary when it comes to keeping everyone in the know.
He has been clear-headed, articulate, tireless and circumspect when it comes to updating NSW residents - and, indeed, Victorians and anyone else tuning into one of his many press conferences that have been broadcast live over the weeks.
On the surface, his brief in this respect has been simple - to keep the public informed to the best of his ability - and he seems to see this task as a straightforward one. He is straightforward, his language plain.
He answers questions directly and openly, clearly weighed down, but without undue emotion. For anyone who knows of his background - his own father was a firefighter, killed during a hazard reduction burn in 2000 - his self-control is even more impressive.
Despite the magnitude of his role, and of the events that have placed him the spotlight day after day, he makes the job look easy, which clearly it's not.
He's been a welcome sight everywhere for what are becoming increasingly sore eyes.