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To My Country

The heartbreak of the Australian summer of 2019-2020 was horrific for the people in Australia. For the many Australians living away from their homeland and watching the devastation being wreaked by bushfires, the like never having been experienced before in Australia was not only devastating but emotionally confrontational, as they sat helplessly watching the inferno rage out of control on the television news services; the fact that it was Christmas just added to the angst.

Ben Lawson has lived away from his beloved Australia for twelve years, returning home for Christmas with his family whenever his filming commitments permitted. From his home in Vancouver, Canada he watched and wept as tragedy after tragedy stuck, feeling a massive sense of helplessness; he felt he needed to be able to do something in some small way to help, but what could be done from so far away!

Needing an outlet for his grief he sat down and wrote the words to what is To My Country; a wonderful heartfelt ode to the deep bonds and emotion that bind the traveller, the journeyman, the Australian to their country. He recorded the words as they came to mind, nothing fancy, polished or orchestrated, just words straight from the heart. One year on, ‘the poem’ has been listened too more than 200 thousand times, his words reaching out to help soothe and heal.

When Lawson was approached to turn the clip into a book he was somewhat overwhelmed, but considered the project somewhat of a challenge; a new frontier. Bruce Whatley the illustrator of choice, agreed to fit the work into his already busy schedule with the end result of this collaboration on many fronts is the superb, beautiful and timeless ode To My Country.

To My Country touches the heart deeply, the words eloquent, elegant and beautiful; the illustrations from Bruce Whatley capture perfectly the summer when Australia burned.

All proceeds from the sale of To My Country are generously donated to The Koala Hospital at



Author Ben Lawson
Publisher Allen & Unwin
ISBN 9781760878719
Distributor Allen & Unwin
Released December 2020