15 November 2019

The devastation caused by bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland is a national issue that calls for us to band together in support of the affected communities.

More than 130 bushfires continue to burn, with four people confirmed dead and at least 150 properties destroyed across New South Wales and Queensland. The number of properties lost is expected to grow and devastation to ancient rainforests and farmland in the region is unprecedented. Drought and lack of rain have escalated the emergency pointing to the emerging effects of climate change and indications of what the climate emergency means to Australians.

In order to address the emergency, the team at Australian Communities Foundation has curated a list of organisations that are working with both emergency relief and prevention. If you would like to discuss this issue or would like more information on any of these organisations please contact Gabby on (03) 9412 0412 or grants@communityfoundation.org.au.

Emergency Relief

Australian Red Cross

Specialist emergency volunteers are providing psychological first aid, working at evacuation centres and helping people to get in touch with their loved ones. More than 30 Red Cross volunteers are currently supporting people at eight evacuation centres across NSW, meanwhile in Queensland six of their volunteers are helping people who have taken refuge from the fires at three evacuation centres.

Salvation Army

Salvation Army teams are providing food and water to evacuees and frontline defenders, providing whatever is needed as the situation develops including emotional and practical support. As NSW is declared  a state of emergency, the Salvation Army is positioning itself to help beyond the crisis and into the sustained effort require for recovery and rebuilding. NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has contributed $50,000 to the appeal on behalf of the State Government.

Givit

The GIVIT Disaster and Emergency Recovery Service operates in partnership with the Queensland government for the purpose of managing offers of donated goods and services following a Queensland disaster. GIVIT are currently collecting funds to provide essential vouchers for things such as groceries, fuel, and clothing to residents affect by the recent bushfires around the state.

Prevention

Taking the premise that the fires are a direct cause of global warming and the changing climate, the Australian Communities Foundation team encourages climate action through preventative measures.

Recent studies show that planting billions of trees across the world is one of the biggest and cheapest ways of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere to tackle the climate crisis. As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide emissions that are driving global heating.

Greenfleet

Greenfleet is a leading not-for-profit environmental organisation on a mission to protect our climate by restoring our forests. Taking direct action, Greenfleet plant native biodiverse forests to offset carbon emissions on behalf of individuals and businesses and help fight the impacts of climate change. Greenfleet forests address critical deforestation, capture carbon emissions to protect our climate, reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and restore habitat for wildlife, including many endangered species. Since 1997, they have planted more than 9.2 million native trees across 500 biodiverse forests in Australia and New Zealand.

Climate Council: The Climate Council is Australia’s leading climate change communications organisation providing authoritative, expert advice to the Australian public on climate change and solutions based on the most up-to-date science available. Made up of some of the country’s leading climate scientists, health, renewable energy and policy experts, as well as a team of staff, and a huge community of volunteers and supporters, Climate Council provides an independent voice on climate change to get climate stories into the media, produce hard-hitting reports, call out misinformation and promote climate solutions such as the transition to renewables.

Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) has a long history of supporting disaster preparedness and assisting affected communities to recover. Due to more frequent and intense climate disasters, including prolonged droughts and intense dry periods, FRRR saw the need for more proactive in funding communities to assist with their preparedness activities, and to have funds available to support them through the medium to long-term aftermath of a disaster.

FRRR wants to be able to provide support for recovery – when and where it’s needed, which is often long after the headlines have moved on to something else.

When donating, please specify the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund (DRRF), with an indication that you would like your support to go towards communities recovering from the NSW and QLD bushfires. FRRR will aim to follow that direction. Ultimately, the DRRF will enable support to be granted out to all communities impacted by or preparing to increase their resilience in the face of future disasters.

Fire Services

NSW Rural Fire Service

The NSW RFS is the lead combat agency for bush fires in NSW and one of the largest volunteer fires services in the world. For over 100 years they have been a significant part of the history and landscape of NSW responding to a range of emergencies. Donations make directly to the NSW RFS are for the benefit of volunteer brigades.

Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland

Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland (RFBAQ) is the Queensland association that leads and represents the interests of the over 1,400+ brigades and over 36,000 volunteer brigade members in Queensland. Donations will be utilised to provide the services, tools and resources that the rural fire brigades and volunteers desperately need.