"To my country, from an expat": The bushfire video from Neighbours' Ben Lawson everyone should watch.

Like people all over the world, you probably woke up this morning to more news about Australia’s bushfire crisis.

Some of that news, like learning just how much of our country is burning, is devastating. Other headlines, about how many human and animal lives have been lost, are hard to read and make us feel helpless.

Amongst the blackened darkness, stories of how ordinary people with true Aussie spirit are banding together to help those who’ve lost everything and save our precious wildlife are a shining light.

And then there are the images and sentiments you feel compelled to share because they manage to articulate exactly how you feel at this point in time.

One such social media story is the IGTV video titled ‘To my country, from an expat’. You might’ve seen this shared all over your Instagram Stories.

You can watch a snippet from Lawson’s video below. Post continues after video.

Video via Ben Lawson

In the six-minute viral video, Australian actor Ben Lawson shares a poem that puts words around a feeling so many of us are experiencing – the struggle to reconcile the idyllic Australia full of sandy toes and balmy nights at the beach of our childhood, and the land (and those running it) now gripped by an unprecedented natural disaster showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Speaking of seeing the country that “taught me almost everything I know,” Lawson reads:

“[This is about] what I saw when I opened up the morning news. My heart stopped for a second and my throat became too tight, her name was in the headlines, she didn’t look alright.”

“She looked unrecognisable, I’d never seen those skies. That’s not the place I grew up in, that’s not what I remember. Bushfires never started up so early as September.”


Throughout his poem, Lawson touches on the disgrace and anger he feels towards our leaders for their “apathy to climate change”, as well as feeling uplifted by seeing how volunteer firefighters and communities are fighting with everything they have. He also urges those who are able to donate what they can to support the various Australian charities and wildlife groups helping those affected.

But for Aussies currently living abroad, his final statement rings true:

“I know I’m far away from her, right now when she is ailing, but I know I’ve never been so proud, to call myself Australian.”

If you recognise Lawson’s face but can’t place where from, the 39-year-old is a Queensland-born actor who got his break playing Frazer Yeats in Neighbours from 2006 to 2008. He’s also one of four brothers – his younger brother is Josh Lawson of Thank God You’re Here and Sea Patrol fame.

Lawson has guest-starred on a number of sitcoms since making the customary Aussie soap star move to LA in 2008, including Bones, 2 Broke Girls, Covert AffairsModern Family and Don’t Trust the B*tch in Apartment 23.

Most recently, Lawson has appeared in the Netflix original series Designated Survivor as an MI6 agent, and in the second season of 13 Reasons Why as a high school baseball coach.

You can also watch him as a fictional fourth Hemsworth Brother alongside Kristen Bell and Jameela Jamil in The Good Place season three, and as media heir Lachlan Murdoch in the highly anticipated film Bombshell with Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman.

Want to learn more about how you can help those affected by bushfires? Listen to our special bushfire relief episode of the Mamamia Out Loud podcast below. Post continues after audio.

Regardless of his day job or the films and movies he’s starred in – if you’re going to watch some of Lawson’s work, make it this Instagram IGTV video.

For many expats or anyone who has ever left home to travel the big, wide world, his words sum up the unique grief of watching your country burn from thousands of kilometres away.

Image: Instagram/@bennyvegas.

Have you watched Ben Lawson’s IGTV video about the bushfires? Tell us your thoughts below.