Andy Thomson and his wife Ellie were awaiting their first baby at the start of the year when their Bundanoon home burned down in the January bushfires.
A friend had just finished renovating an old caravan, so they towed it to Mr Thomson's workplace - the old Scout Hall on Sherwood Avenue in Bowral, which houses his guitar-making business - and that became home for a couple of months.
Never mind that they had to also fit their cats and dogs (including a wolfhound, who scored his own bunk bed).
Now in new digs with a baby girl, Mr Thomson will be among a number of creative professionals telling their story at Mental Gallery on Sunday, October 25, at the first of a series of events called Resonate.
"We want to capture the strength, courage and connection of the Highlands," said Highcast podcast host Dave Gorman, who will run the event.
"Resonate will be a conversation series with real purpose and meaning."
Sparked during the coronavirus lockdown and in response to the worst bushfires in Australian history, Resonate has been funded through a grant from Wingecarribee Council's Social Recovery Small Grants Program.
Mr Gorman came up with the idea along with Sergei Netchaef, who owns and runs Mental, a space that looks something like a traditional art gallery but aims to be much more.
"We opened in March and had to close three days later due to COVID-19," said Mr Netchaef, who has experienced his own upended expectations during 2020.
The plan had been to fill the gallery with kids' workshops and special activities to promote connections among the community and arts practitioners.
"We had to pivot towards a different model," said Mr Netchaef.
"So when Dave came in with this idea, it fitted with that drive to create new access."
The Resonate series will look at local issues, stories, and people who have exhibited resilience and courage; creating, producing, and building community in the Southern Highlands and neighbouring villages.
"The worst of times can also be the best of times," said Mr Gorman.
"About 10 per cent of the population will experience what's called 'traumatic growth' in times of disaster, and that's something we'd like to explore.
"For example, Andy's guitar business is going through the roof, and he's upbeat about the future.
"It's been a challenging year - it's time to talk about the things that bring us together rather than focus on the destruction that has occurred."
Council's coordinator of community development, Cath Brennan, said the social recovery program supports collaborative approaches to recovery with a view to long term community health, wellbeing and connectedness.
And she still has some funding to hand out.
"We're looking to support the groups who will assist in recovery," she said.
The first Resonate event will run from 3-5pm on October 25 and bookings can be made here.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 20 (free) tickets are available but the event will be streamed on live through Mental Bowral's Facebook page.
Videos from the events will be accessible in the future through the Wingecarribee Council website.