Swans co-captain Luke Parker got a closer-than-expected look at the disastrous effects of the bushfires while he was enjoying the Christmas break on the south coast of NSW.
Parker, his partner Kate, teammate Isaac Heeney and his partner Lauren, were holidaying in Manyana, a small beach town approximately 200km from Sydney, when the fires took hold in the final days of 2019.
"Kate has a holiday house in Manyana and it's one of my favourite places in the world," he said.
"Lake Conjola is only a kilometre away and 90 houses were lost there, and everybody was evacuated onto the beach on New Year's Eve."
Dane Rampe is crowned Sydney's club champion for 2019, winning his first Bob Skilton Medal in front of 900 guests at The Star.
Rampe polled 581 votes to win easily from young midfielder George Hewett (461), with fellow co-captain Luke Parker (458) rounding out the podium.
"Dane’s an incredibly popular player, he’s a fierce competitor, he’s a hard trainer and he’s someone who our first-year recruits to seasoned campaigners look up to and respect tremendously," Sydney coach John Longmire said.
"Now a well-deserved club champion, Dane will no doubt continue to be a great leader around the club and do everything possible to put the team in a position to challenge again."
Luke Parker claims his second Bob Skilton medal as Sydney's best and fairest for the 2017 season.
Parker finished with 696 votes, with Coleman medal winner Lance Franklin and defender Jake Lloyd close behind him (650).
"We know and see every week how much Luke competes – he’s just a fantastic competitor," Sydney coach John Longmire said.
"He helps to set the standards around the club and on the ground on match-day. He has the ability to grasp what the team needs at any particular time, and that shows what type of quality person he is."
Dan Hannebery and defenders Dane Rampe and Heath Grundy have been added to the Sydney Swans leadership group for 2016.
The trio was voted into the new roles by teammates on the Swans' pre-season camp to Coffs Harbour a fortnight ago, joining co-captains Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack, plus Nick Smith, Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker in the eight-man group.
Sydney coach John Longmire says Luke Parker could be a chance to play again this season despite having surgery on his right lower leg.
Longmire said the 22 year-old had a plate inserted to fix a lower leg fracture and is expected to miss 4-5 weeks, meaning he could return for the finals should the Swans progress into the second or third weekend of the post-season.
"It's terrific to hear that he didn't have any significant ankle damage, so that was a real positive to come out of it," Longmire said.
"It could have been a lot worse and it's up to us, I guess, whether he gets back, as far as how deep we go (into the finals)."
Luke Parker's season is likely over after he suffered a fractured fibula in his side's 11-point win over Collingwood at the SCG.
"He's got a fractured fibula, which is the smaller bone in the lower leg, so he's having another scan today just to check out his ankle ligament damage – things like syndesmosis and what not," Swans coach John Longmire said.
"So we're not quite sure what that result will come until later on today.
"But the initial diagnosis is a fractured fibula so that's probably, if he has an operation, a four-week best-case scenario if there's no other damage. We don't know if there's any other damage."
Luke Parker becomes the youngest player to join the Sydney Swans' leadership group.
The midfielder, currently the Swans' reigning best and fairest winner, wasn't shy in identifying what made him a leader.
"For me, it started off with a lot of 'lead by example' stuff out on the field and that was not a questionable thing for me," Parker said.
"The next step was voicing my opinion and being able to drive the group. I think Rhyce Shaw gave me the confidence that what I actually say is valued, and it gave me the confidence to really start talking up and driving the group."
Luke Parker is ready to resume playing with the Swans only two seeks since fracturing his jaw against GWS.
"He essentially did a fitness test with his dad last week," Swans coach John Longmire said.
"He went home for the weekend and his dad planted one on his chin and his dad gave him the all clear. I think it was just a muck around and his dad asked him how he was going. He said 'pretty well' and I think his dad just wanted to make sure he was OK.
"It probably isn't any wonder Luke goes for the ball the way he does."