The Eurobodalla Shire has celebrated New Year's Eve with small backyard gatherings, watching fireworks and taking part in the Batemans Bay light display and commemorative ceremony.
While event organisers in Batemans Bay chose not to display fireworks this year, holidaymakers and residents further south were given a show.
The Tomakin Sports and Social Club fireworks went off at 9pm and midnight. Tuross Head also displayed fireworks.
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Commissioner of Resilience NSW Shane Fitzsimmons spoke at Club Narooma before addressing the public in Batemans Bay in the evening.
Mr Fitzsimmons thanked organisers for the important occasion, and acknowledged emergency services, groups and individuals involved in supporting the community during the aftermath of the fires.
"The emotions 12 months on are still very real and raw for many and events like tonight are an important step in helping all with their recovery, repair, rebuilding and healing," Mr Fitzsimmons said.
"It was lovely to see so many people sharing stories, thoughts and feelings as well as their progress and challenges."
He shared personal experiences of the massive RFS operation, and encouraged the community to seek support.
A tree was illuminated with a vivid green light on the foreshore, paying tribute to John Smith, who died protecting his Bodalla home in the fires, and was father to Emerald and husband to Josie.
Indigenous Elder Aunty Loretta welcomed the community and hoped residents and visitors would "light up the Bay not only with lights but with our smiles. We've had a rough year and need to celebrate we survived".
Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips looked back on stories of communities' generosity.
The community thanked Batemans Bay RFS Captain Ian Aitken and his team, who thanked the crews from across NSW for their support last year.
A convoy of firefighting trucks made their way across the Batemans Bay Bridge in a poignant moment for onlookers, reminding them of similar scenes from last New Year's Eve.
The event concluded with a guard of honour for five local RFS trucks, as dignitaries and families, including Emerald and Josie Smith, watched on.
Watch the official opening of Light up the Bay in the video below or on Love the Bay's Facebook page.