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$4.5 million provided to bushfire affected Victorian families

13 November 2020 |Appeals

Bendigo Bank, in partnership with the Victorian Government, has disbursed a further $4.5 million to bushfire affected families in the East Gippsland, Alpine and Towong regions of the state, via Windermere Child & Family Services.

The funding - raised through the Victorian Bushfire Appeal - will assist those East Gippsland households most impacted by the Black Summer bushfires. The new $15,000 top up payments follow initial payments of $25,000 which were made to families in need in April.

To date, a total of $12 million has been apportioned to 301 East Gippsland households by Windermere, an independent community service organisation working across south eastern Melbourne and Gippsland to build a stronger, connected and more supported Victoria.

Dr Lynette Buoy, CEO, Windermere, said the organisation is continuing to work hard to assist fire impacted residents gain access to funds generously donated to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

“As part of the bushfire recovery process, Windermere’s on the ground recovery team has worked with people whose primary place of residence was destroyed by the fires or deemed uninhabitable in their aftermath. Over recent months, our team has continued to make contact, build relationships, undergo assessments and support those eligible,” Dr Buoy said.

Alexandra Gartmann, Executive Corporate Affairs, Bendigo Bank, said the latest disbursement of Appeal funds demonstrated the Bank’s continued commitment to collaborating and partnering with communities and government to drive the long-term recovery of fire affected areas across the country.

“In a year dominated by COVID-19, many have forgotten that numerous Australian communities continue to experience the compounding impacts of both a pandemic and a uniquely destructive bushfire season,” Ms Gartmann said.

“As we near the 12 month anniversary of these disastrous fires, it is important to remember that the ripple effects and recovery marathon of this disaster will continue for many years to come. We remain fully committed to giving a hand up to those impacted and to ensuring the viable, long-term recovery of these communities – something Bendigo Bank has done for more than 160 years.”

The Victorian Bushfire Appeal - conducted by Bendigo Bank’s charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation in partnership with the Victorian Government - has raised more than $36.8 million for communities devastated by the bushfires across the state. More than half the funds raised have been distributed to organisations working with local communities in their recovery.

Funds have been distributed to a range of organisations working with local communities in their recovery, including; The Salvation Army, the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, BlazeAid, Windermere Child & Family Services, The Man From Snowy River Festival, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency Co-Op, Moogji Aboriginal Council East Gippsland Inc., Albury Wodonga Foodshare and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-Op.

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