The ovens have been switched off and the dishes done.
Bega is saying farewell - and thank you - to the Australia Defence Force caterers who have called the Bega Showground kitchen home for the past two months.
Sergeant Margarita Obien and her squad (from 10 Force Support Team - 2 Platoon - 1 Caterers) were packed up and awaiting their transport out on Friday morning, enjoying a casual chat on the Bega Showground bandstand.
For the past seven weeks they have been preparing meals for the approximately 350 Australia Defence Force personnel tasked across the Bega Valley. They were also running hot in the kitchen cooking for civilians when the Bega Showground was an evacuation centre on several occasions through the fire crisis.
Catering units watchkeeper and coordinator Lieutenant Eloise O'Connor said they were incredibly grateful to be allowed access to the showground kitchen, which took a large weight off the shoulders of an already huge logistical operation.
Sergeant Obien said Army reservists were on task in Bega at first before her teams took over, with catering units also stationed in Cooma and Tumut.
"We're usually deployed overseas to support our forces - it was great this time to get the chance to all work as one for our country," she said.
"The locals have been very welcoming, showing us lots of their photos and sharing their stories.
"They've been very thankful and appreciative.
"It's just devastating to see what has happened here. In our downtime I've had the guys drive around to see the extent of it so they get a fuller appreciation of why we're here helping."
It has been Australia's lost summer. Drought, hail, floods and, worst of all, bushfires have ravaged communities all over the nation. But the selfless actions of friends, family, neighbours, strangers, local groups and volunteer organisations have inspired us and strengthened the bonds of community. Please join us in saying thanks to the heroes of the home front by sharing your stories of gratitude. To salute a person or a group, please use the form below.