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Bushfire appeal to help rebuild communities

13 January 2015 |Media centre

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and St John Ambulance SA today launched an appeal to help South Australian communities recovering from the January 2015 Bushfires.

The Bank's Chief Financial Officer, Richard Fennell, and St John Ambulance SA CEO Sharyn Mitten said the organisations had waited until the immediate fire danger had passed before launching the appeal.

"Quite rightly the focus has been on helping fire victims with immediate needs such as food, clothing and shelter," they said, "and there are a number of agencies and appeals doing great work on this.

"But we know from our experience over the years that too often once the fires are out and the rebuilding starts, there is more help needed.

"These disasters impact more widely than just on those unfortunate enough to suffer property damage. Almost invariably they also destroy community assets and services and this is where our appeal will focus.

"As a State, we will need to ensure people in the fire affected regions are able to quickly recover their normal lives and we'll involve community representatives on an advisory committee to decide on the funding priorities."

Mr Fennell said Bendigo Bank and St John were ideal organisations to help communities renew as both had strong grass roots connections.

Bendigo Bank launched the appeal with a donation of $10,000.

The Bank's charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation, will work with St John to administer and distribute monies raised by the appeal. Sandhurst Trustees will be the trustee.

Tax-deductible donations can be made at any branch of Bendigo Bank or at www.bendigobank.com.au

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