Australia is, at this very moment, gripped in a calamity the scale of which the country has never seen before.
I’m sure you are already aware of the bushfires which are destroying entire communities and threatening countless more. They have taken lives, properties, livelihoods, they have killed almost half a billion animals, and we aren’t even in the thick of fire season. These fires will change the country forever, and have already resulted in unfathomable loss.
Whatever your position on the current debate surrounding the fires, climate change and our largely absent, slow-to-act “leader”, I’m sure you can agree that something must be done to support the firefighters and volunteers who are currently risking everything to protect threatened communities.
The AU Review is an arts, travel and lifestyle website. We don’t normally post about current affairs of this kind because it’s so outside of our typical editorial cycle that it feels disingenuous and opportunistic.
An online website’s livelihood is forever tied to the amount of traffic it receives, and the easiest way to boost that traffic is to find something topical and grab a slice of the search engine results pie. On the other hand, we are an independent website with a considerable amount of traffic, giving us a platform of influence both nationally and internationally. It would be wrong not to post something, no matter the perception.
Now is not the time to hesitate, for any online platform with reach. There’s no sitting this one out.
So this is simply a post encouraging readers to donate whatever they can, or help out in some other way. Just in case you haven’t already come across the comprehensive “how to help” articles on more traditional news and current affairs publications like The Guardian and SMH.
Here are ways you can help.
Remember, every cent really does count. Even if it’s just sacrificing your coffee funds for the week, it helps.
The Red Cross have a Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund and any money donated to that will go to victims who have lost homes. You can donate HERE.
The Salvos are also calling for cash donations (as opposed to donating things that they have to handle the logistics for – no efficient right now). You can donate to their disaster appeal HERE.
St Vincent de Paul Society
Vinnies are currently running appeals for those affected by bushfires and drought in NSW, QLD, and SA. You can donate HERE.
Givit takes a different approach when it comes to supporting those in need. Rather than giving only cash, you can donate items or services as well. The particular items that victims are in need of are listed so you can simply go in and see if you have what they need, then donate accordingly. You can do so HERE.
Community Enterprise Foundation
Bendigo Bank’s charitable arm is running appeals for East Gippsland, north-east Victoria, south-east NSW and the Adelaide Hills, all of which have been devastated by the fires. If you want to help, you can donate cash HERE.
NSW Rural Fire Service
The NSW RFS are running their own appeal, accepting cash donations for those want to support our firefighters. You can donate HERE.
VIC Country Fire Authority
The CFA are running their own appeal for those who want to direct cash donations to those firefighters. You can donate to the Victorian Bushfire Relief HERE.
SA Country Fire Service
The South Australian CFS are also accepting donations for those who want to support their staff and volunteers. You can donate HERE.
QLD Rural Fire Brigades
Queensland is also seeing massive damage due to the fires. You can donate directly to the RFBAQ for services, tool and resources HERE.
Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund
The Gippsland community is one of the worst affected by the fires so far. You can donate HERE.
Foodbank are also running appeals that will go to those in need. Cash donations are preferred but they are also accepting good quality tin food and easy foods like muesli bars, cereals, and biscuits. You can donate HERE.
World Wildlife Fund
WWF Australia are currently raising funds to restore homes for koalas in particular. ”
When the fires clear, we will need to restore what has been lost,” they write. You can donate HERE.
A dedicated GoFundMe has been set up for the devastated community of Cudgewa in Victoria. You can donate HERE.
The small East Gippsland town of Mallacoota is likely from where you’ve seen all those terrifying bright blood red images from. They aren’t filters. This is real. Donate to the dedicated GoFundMe HERE.
The Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation obviously have a long road ahead, with millions of wildlife in immediate need. You can donate to them HERE.
Help In Other Ways
Other than donating money, here are some other ways you can help. And remember, it all has a cumulative effect, so even if your efforts feel small, they help add up.
– Leave out bowls of water for wildlife. With food, check first to make sure you’re not leaving out anything with some species cannot eat. For example, seeds are actually very harmful to Kangaroos. For birds, it’s also just better to leave out water because that will give them the fuel they need to keep flying and find the food they can have.
– Register a spare bed or room. Service “Find a Bed” is going to be incredibly important in the coming weeks as people are displaced or evacuated. People are going to need a place to stay so if you have space please register over HERE.
– Check on neighbours. Simply just check on your neighbours and make sure they are okay if you have cause for concern. Particularly the elderly or impaired, given that air quality is fast deteriorating.
– Educate yourself and speak up. Situations like this aren’t helped by silence. Educate yourself on the current issues, speak up, and don’t give tacit approval to those who may seek to suppress progress.
– Share. Not particularly this article, but any that have all the links in one spot. Even those who don’t usually donate will likely be swayed if they realise how easy it is, and how they have control over how much they donate.