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Bendigo Bank launches new Bushfire Community Recovery Grants Program

17 November 2020 |Appeals

Bendigo Bank’s National Bushfire Disaster Appeal - conducted by the Bank’s charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation - has established a new Bushfire Community Recovery Grants Program to further assist the long term, community-led recovery of those impacted by the Black Summer Bushfires.

Grant applications are now open for community-focused projects seeking financial support in bushfire affected regions in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia, and further builds on the immediate relief funding and support delivered to communities since January 2020.

The Grants Program has been developed to specifically help fund community recovery projects - between now and October 2021 - designed to rebuild and strengthen the social fabric of fire devastated communities. Funding will be prioritised for initiatives which aim to promote:

  • resilience and recovery of individuals
  • community connectedness and recovery
  • economic restoration
  • conservation and re-establishment of the natural environment

Alexandra Gartmann, Executive Corporate Affairs, Bendigo Bank, said that while the Grants Program will concentrate on further boosting the recovery and well-being of bushfire impacted communities, the Bank also remains firmly committed to their medium- and long-term restoration and rehabilitation.

“As communities across the country approach the first anniversary of the wide scale Black Summer Bushfires and with many still grappling with the additional impact of COVID-19, it’s critical we continue to offer support for recovery,” Ms Gartmann said.

“We know from our extensive past experience that the recovery from a disaster of this magnitude will take many months and years. It’s very much a marathon - not a sprint - and we will continue to centre our response on improving the overall health and economic well-being of communities and individuals ravaged by the fires.

“We encourage community groups and organisations across the six states to explore the program and eligibility criteria, consider applying for financial assistance, and speak with us about how we can help with the recovery of your community and local environment.”

Applications for the Bushfire Community Recovery Grants Program will remain open until 11.59pm AEDT on Friday 11 December 2020 and can be submitted through the Community Enterprise Foundation website.

Bendigo Bank’s national and state-based bushfire appeals have raised more than $46 million to help those affected by the Black Summer bushfires.

Almost half the funds raised by more than 145,000 generous donors have been distributed to a range of organisations working with local communities, including:

  • The Salvation Army
  • The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund
  • BlazeAid
  • Goolwa Surf Lifesaving Club Inc
  • Windermere Child & Family Services
  • The Man From Snowy River Festival
  • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency Co-Op
  • Moogji Aboriginal Council East Gippsland Inc
  • Gippsland & East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-Op
  • Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare
  • Gateway Health
  • Centre Against Violence
  • Gippsland Lakes Complete Health
  • The Australian Lions Foundation
  • Variety SA

For updates on where and how Appeal donations are assisting the recovery process on the ground and for examples of donations at work in bushfire affected communities, please visit Bendigo Bank’s Disaster recovery page.

If you’re eligible and require further assistance with a Bushfire Community Recovery Grants Program application, please contact Community Enterprise Foundation on 1300 304 541 or email

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