South West Bushfires Relief Effort Well Underway
Online donations flow in from around Australia
The South West Victoria Community Relief Fund Committee held its initial meeting on Thursday 5th April 2018. The Committee, formed in response to the recent devastating bushfires is making good progress in prioritising the disbursement of funds raised through public appeal in order to effectively assist victims recovering from their losses.
The committee includes representatives of, Corangamite Shire, Cobden Health Service, The Cobden-Camperdown Community Bank®, Department of Health and Human Services, The South West Fires Regional Recovery and Bendigo Bank, who will ensure the funds are disbursed according to pressing community priorities. The committee is liaising with all levels of government to ensure the funds are directed towards community-based outcomes and is currently reaching out to both Moyne and Southern Grampians Shires to provide representation as part of the group.
James Green, Chair of the Cobden-Camperdown Community Bank® and Chair of the committee said: “Restoring material and physical assets for those affected is a priority, but experience from other major fires in communities across Australia tells us that counselling services will also be under strain- now and in the future.
“Trauma caused by these events is often lasting and we need to ensure that we have adequate funding for these services for at least 12 months after events such as these. We’re making good progress with more than $100,000 now received in donations.
“Further down the track, we can plan community events to connect people and promote community cohesiveness, health and wellbeing as people rebuild and recover in coming months.
Corangamite Shire Mayor, Jo Beard said: “We are all working to achieve the best outcomes possible for the communities affected. In true Aussie spirit, people from right across Australia have dug deep in this time of need to help those affected at what is, for many, the worst possible time in their lives.
“As a community, we are humbled and so very grateful for this outpouring of financial support and the Committee’s immediate focus will be on addressing the devastation felt across our various communities and supporting them to the best of our abilities so that they can return to their livelihoods”.
Adam Reilly, Department of Health Human Services, Recovery Coordinator said "The communities impacted by the fires are incredibly inspiring, especially in how they have rallied to support the vulnerable members of our community.
“These funds, along with the already strong community spirit of helping each other, means we have innovative and practical ways that the communities can be supported. This can be through direct support to those who lost everything, or by empowering locals to restore and build community wellbeing and connections, and ultimately community resilience."
James Green, Chair of the Committee said: “The Appeal has started well with tremendous support from across Australia. We encourage people wishing to contribute to the relief effort. Donations over $2 are tax deductible and can also be made by phoning 1300 304 541 “, Mr Green concluded.
The fund is administered by Bendigo Bank’s philanthropic arm, Community Enterprise Foundation™. Funds raised will help the communities impacted by the disaster rebuild and recover.
South West Victorian fire Appeal is a management account of the Community Enterprise Foundation™ ABN 69 694 230 518, PO Box 480, Bendigo Vic 3552. Funds raised from this appeal will be disbursed as grants and gifts to eligible charitable organisations to assist with relief, recovery and reconstruction projects for communities in the fire effected areas of South West Victoria.