AEGN

Bushfire crisis in Western Australia

11 February 2021

Tagged in

Some members have outlined a number of organisations that require short-term funding in light of the recent bushfire crisis in Western Australia.

It has been devastating to hear and see the destruction the bushfires in Western Australia has wreaked, primarily on Ballardong country on the outskirts of Perth. The fire perimeter was in excess of 136 kilometres and over 11,000 hectares have been burnt. 86 properties burned to the ground, livelihoods have been destroyed, flora and fauna decimated, national parks damaged and many significant areas of Ballardong and Whadjuk Noongar country impacted.

Firefighters from around the state were involved, with additional planes provided by New South Wales.

The fire is still smouldering in areas with warm weather

Some members from Western Australia have put together potential organisations you might like to support.

Relief for individuals and communities

  • Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund

    This is an established method of providing funds for recovery and rebuild following large fires where people lose homes in Western Australia since 1961. City of Perth covers the overheads. This will be a substantive source of funds for the longer-term recovery and it is where the State Government has committed $2 million. The fundraiser is over $7 million to date, with people who have lost their homes able to apply for $25,000 short-term emergency assistance on 10 February.
  • WA Relief and Recovery Fund: Wooroloo bushfires

    Provides donors with a tax-deductible trusted resource to distribute their charitable dollars. It is designed to help the non-profit organisations that are providing vital services to our communities who have been affected by this crisis and to rebuild in the longer term.

Firefighter support

  • Volunteer Hardship Assistance Scheme

    Supporting emergency services volunteers with financial assistance during times of hardship.
  • City of Swan

    Local bushfire brigades in areas impacted (not exhaustive): The local government area most impacted was the City of Swan. The process is to reach out to the City of Swan and ask how you could contribute to any of these volunteer bushfire brigades (West Gidgegannup, East Gidgegannup, Whiteman Park, East Swan, Swan Communications).
  • Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (WA)

    Organisation that supports the volunteer firefighters.

Wildlife

  • Darling Range Wildlife Services

    Darling Range Wildlife Shelter (DRWS) is a volunteer run and not-for-profit organisation. DRWS treats, cares and rehabilitates Australian native wildlife — including joeys and juvenile kangaroos, numerous birds, possums, bandicoots and shingleback lizards also being nursed. Our objective is to work towards their release, back into their natural environment. Our volunteers work hard establishing and confirming safe and suitable release sites for all our wildlife.
  • Native Animal Rescue

    Native Animal Rescue is a not-for-profit wildlife Hospital dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of sick, injured, orphaned and displaced wildlife in Western Australia.

Ballardong/Whadjuk (Aboriginal) support to heal country

Walyunga National Park in particular is very significant for Whadjuk and Ballardong people. It would be wonderful if some members wanted to consider holding some funds for this purpose for when the appropriate oranisation is identified. It may be via the Noongar Land Enterprise Group or another organisation.

These fires are in addition to a number of other fires that have impacted across many areas of southern Western Australia in Noongar country (including the Stirling Rangers) and Ngadju country over the past 15 months. There is still an AEGN funding opportunity for Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation if anyone would like to contribute there, and additional organisations for caring for country across the 14 clans of Noongar country will follow in coming months.

An AEGN member in Western Australia is currently in talks with a few Noongar people about an Aboriginal organisation to fundraise to heal the country, support forest recovery and some significant sites following the fires. They will circulate that once it is identified.