The streets of Mooroopna would not be an easy place for Germany’s Martin Schueth to visit.
Now 33, Mr Schueth was tragically attacked in McLennan St by three men, Brian Marks, Norman Terrick and John Stewart, on September 14, 2006.
The random, alcohol-fuelled attack left him in a vegetative state and he has spent the past 12 years learning how to breathe, eat, talk, walk, write and speak again.
But Mr Schueth has defied the odds, travelling 20 hours from Germany and returning to the area for the second time since the brutal attack.
When he returned for the first time, 10 years after the attack, Mr Schueth was in tears when he stared down the street where he lay in a pool of his own blood.
He faced the scene of the life-changing event head-on, something many would not have the courage to do.
But it was the courage Mr Schueth displayed in travelling to Shepparton which was also truly remarkable.
Mr Schueth made the long journey on his own, something his family had warned against for fear he would not make it.
It was then Mr Schueth said something many could never start to comprehend if in the same situation — he forgave the three men for what they had done to him.
The incredible young man also used the visit as a chance to reaffirm a life-long connection he and his family have made with the farmers he would have worked for during his stay in Australia, had the attack not happened.
Two years ago, Mr Schueth was properly introduced to Cathy and Greg Martin, who were to have had the backpacker work on their dairy farm.
Despite this man’s horrendous experience in Mooroopna, it was his connection with the Martins which was largely responsible for his return.
The friendship which has blossomed in the past 12 years allowed Mr Schueth to remain connected with the area in a positive way.
The courage this man has shown to forgive his attackers and face the scene of his attack head-on, for the second time, is truly inspirational.