Last November the mayor of Glen Innes was on every TV in Australia.
And the small-town mayor who became the face and voice of the New England's bushfires had a simple message: I lost my house and my community to a bushfire caused or worsened by climate change.
On Saturday morning, with the ruins of over 50 Wytaliba homes still hot, she put name to the loss in an interview with ACM.
"All of the community has been impacted. One person has been found dead. Two people have been airlifted to Sydney, to the burns unit. We are waiting to hear from the RFS at the moment."
Five others were injured; her granddaughter's partner was one of the two burns victims hospitalised. The other died.
Speaking on the phone from Glen Innes hospital, she spoke through tears.
"I might be able to get down to my house (today), what's left of it. Our neighbors are in hospital; they were there when the house blew up.
"It's what I've been predicting, that climate change is going to have this sort of affect on communities.
Her extraordinarily personal story of loss captivated Australia.
Months on, the mayor of the small town has been nominated for two awards for political leadership.
Melbourne University's school of government issues the McKinnon prize for political leadership to two politicians a year. Carol was last year nominated as the McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year.
She recently learned that she has also been nominated for the NSW Ministers' Awards for Women in Local Government award.
Carol Sparks has been Glen Innes' mayor for less than two years, and a councillor for just one term.
A member of the Greens and Glen Innes' first female mayor, the former nurse moved to the semi-commune of Wytaliba 30 years ago because she thought climate change would have a relatively minimal impact on the chilly highlands region. Her husband Badja runs a local second hand bookstore in Glen Innes.
So in many ways Mayor Sparks is something different for the conservative small town of 6000.
But she said she had no choice but to raise her voice to make national politicians understand they were looking at the cost of climate change.
"I didn't have any choice; it happened to me. That was how it's always been for me in local government, I was passionate about giving community a voice, especially those people who didn't have a voice like women, and the underprivileged and children and animals.
"That's the thing that's good about local government; if you're doing your job right you are giving a voice to the community."
What did her words achieve? She said she got the message out to people across Australia.
But she said government still isn't listening.
"The government is listening to the science over the Coronavirus. They're telling people to take notice of the science. But when climate change is the subject they don't promote that.
"That's what I was saying right from the start: government has to listen to the science on climate change otherwise it's just going to continue to warm and we are going to face more and more catastrophes in the future."
The Local Government Minister's prize will be presented at an official Parliament House function on March 24. The McKinnon prize winner will speak at an oration in March.
Last year's McKinnon prize winners were Senators Penny Wong and Jason Steele-John from Labor and the Greens.