UPDATED: Sunday 5 January:
With fires devastating communities and landscapes in East Gippsland, north east Victoria, south west Victoria, southern NSW, and across many other parts of the country, it has been a sombre start to the year.
All those affected by the bushfire—the firefighters, first responders, community members, and wildlife — are front of mind for us.
The scale of these bushfires is unprecedented. It’s why we’re calling on supporters to give generously to the bushfire relief and recovery efforts.
Here is an initial list of ideas about how you can help affected communities:
FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE:
Many First Nations people have been affected by fires across Victoria and NSW, with losses of homes, severe damage to property, and important parts of the landscape. Many of these community have now been forced to evacuate the region's of their homes and forced to seek temporary / ongoing living arrangements in other parts of Victoria and NSW .
A crowdfunder to help First Nations people affected by the fires can be found here.
The aim of this fundraiser is to offer a culturally sensitive , specific direct support to some of those communities with critical costs to cover expenses including the following:
- Temporary relocation costs (hotel expenses, fuel, renting, possible medical needs)
- Other basic amenity and emergency relief costs to assist with this very difficult time such clothing , miscellaneous vital personal items.
- Refurbishment of damaged property where applicable
- Resettling expenses where applicable
- Ongoing rental support where necessary
- Replacement of vital items (i.e damaged medical equipment, clothing, toiletries, other vital personal belongings).
And some of you might like to join us at The Gaso in Collingwood on Tuesday 7 January for a fundraiser to support First Nations people affected by the fires. DRMNGNOW will headline the concert with more acts to be announced soon.
The remote community of Goongerah in far East Gippsland has been hard hit by devastating fires. The community is a long way from relief centres and are currently cut off. They need your help to repair and prepare to survive the remainder of this unprecedented fire season.
Goongerah has been the centre of the forest conservation movement for many years and it includes two environment groups, three wildlife refuges, a well-supported CFA, a community hall and until recently a tiny school. Donate or sign up for working bees to help people rebuild, or to help in any way. Contribute to their relief and recovery crowdfunder.
Click here to sign up as a volunteer and email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Environment East Gippsland and Jill Redwood
Jill Redwood has been campaigning to protect East Gippsland’s forests for decades. Jill has coordinated Environment East Gippsland, put up landmark legal cases for forest protection, on top of running her inspiring, fully self-sufficient farm.
Jill managed to save her home single-handedly when the fire front hit on 30 December but still faces a long summer and extensive repair work. You can help Jill get her place back together, buy crucial equipment and eventually be able to focus on the forest campaign again. You can help by donating funds now and joining in working bees when there’s access to Goongerah again.
Account Name: Environment East Gippsland
BSB 633 108
ACC: 1204 19064
Goongerah Wombat Orphanage
The Goongerah Wombat Orphanage luckily had their property defended by a hero neighbour, however it is going to take a lot to rebuild. The surrounding bush has been burnt to the ground and there is no word on how any of the wildlife, or released wombats, have fared. Click here to contribute to the Wombat Orphanage's crowdfunder and check out their Facebook page for more info.
Mallacoota Wildlife Shelter
The Mallacoota Wildlife Shelter has survived, but is already overrun with wildlife to care for. The only way to get supplies into Mallacoota at the moment is by air or sea. It has been hit so hard and the community is devastated.
Account Name: SA Johns, Mallacoota Wildlife Shelter
BSB: 062 649
ACC: 101 261 46.
Reference: Please leave your name as a reference so they know who to thank.
East Gippsland Wildlife Emergency Fund
Incredible wildlife carers in East Gippsland have set up a general fundraiser for carers. These funds will be distributed amongst wildlife shelters in East Gippsland on an as needs basis, including Basil Brush Wildlife Shelter & the Raymond Island Koala & Wildlife Shelter Inc. Click here to make a contribution to the crowdfunder.
Things that are useful to buy/source for wildlife carers if you want to buy them yourself or find vets/groups/pet shops/hardware shops who would like to donate them:
- Kangaroo pouches and/or pillow cases
- Towels and chux wipes
- Animal transportation/enclosures like cat carry cages for example
- Animal feeding bottles and teats
- Flamazine/silverzine burn cream
- Hartmanns fluids
- Baxter fluids
- Biolac formulas
- Lectade oral hydration
- Vetafarm spark fluids
- Wombaroo Impact
- Fuel cards
- Syringes 1-60ml
- Animal wound gels and sprays
- Any Vetafarm bird products
- Shade Cloth
- 1.8m star pickets for temporary enclosures
- Enclosure fencing e.g. Rolls of rabbit wire, cyclone fencing, sparrow wire
- Get in touch to drop of this stuff off in Melbourne and get it sent to East Gippsland: Nicki Wilson - 0448 128 087
Feeding wildlife after bushfire
You can donate to Eco-shout to help pay for food that will be immediately distributed around East Gippsland—on fire affected properties and in strategic areas of burnt bush—to feed wildlife.
Account Name: Eco-shout
BSB: 633 000
ACC: 149 529 232
More info about feeding wildlife
Food that is good to leave out for kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and possums in bushfire affected areas, or to donate to landholders impacted by fire where there is usually wildlife:
- Water. On the ground and in trees if possible
- Grass hay
- Kangaroo and wallaby pellets
- Fruit and vegetables (if desperate)
- Fruit (for fruit bats)
- and water troughs
It is good to put food out every two to three days until there is natural food available that will grow after rainfall. Put big chunks of hey/lucerne and/or handfuls of pellets (cupped hands). Put them near wombat burrows about 1.5 metres from the entrance, in areas where wildlife have been seen before fires, and near water (although in areas with deer, food will more likely be eaten by deer near water).
It is really good if you can get a movement sensing remote camera that can be set up to take pictures at the food station and checked to see what wildlife is eating the food – to determine if it is a good place.
(n.b. it is dangerous to walk into fire impacted areas soon after fire as trees are likely to fall. Do not put yourself in danger).
Info on feeding birds (insect eaters, nectar and honeyeaters that need more than bird seed) is available here.
If you find injured or stressed wildlife, contact Wildlife Victoria on 03 8400 7300.
Gippsland Horse Safe
Gippsland Horse Safe is organising support for people who need assistance looking after their horses after the fire. The relief effort is being facilitated by Tarrah and Phil Stacey, Kelly Van Den Berg, Tegan Hector, and Kylie Dann at Gippsland Horse Safe Bushfire Assistance, and Jaidyn McLellan who organising the generous donations and considerable logistics of getting hay and feed where it’s needed.
- $7 buys a square bale
- $30 buys a bag of feed
- $70 buys a round bale
Account Name: Fire Relief
Horse Safe will NOT be using any donations for fuel or transport costs. All monies will go directly to purchasing fodder. Check their Facebook page for further details.
If you would prefer to make a financial donation, you can support the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund (GERF) or the Australian Red Cross’s disaster relief and recovery appeal.
Foodbank Victoria has already dispatched emergency food and water to the fire-affected areas. They’re seeking donations to keep the supplies going.
Keep an eye out for community-led support efforts in your networks. We’ll update this webpage periodically and share more information about how to support bushfire relief and recovery efforts via our Facebook page so stay tuned.
If there are other things you think the Friends of the Earth network can do to help during this difficult period, please let us know via email.
For now, stay safe, look out for each other, and follow Vic Emergency for updates and info for how you can get prepared. There’s still a way to go to get through the summer.
Leigh and Friends of the Earth