Australian bushfires - Helpful information
Our hearts and thoughts go out to those who have lost loved ones and who have been affected by the Australian bushfires. The devastation is incomprehensible, and we rally behind our fellow states and territories during this time.
We are grateful to the thousands of emergency service workers who have responded and dedicated themselves to protecting our country. Their bravery, selflessness and commitment to ensure the safety of others is nothing but extraordinary.
To those volunteers on the frontline working tirelessly to support the emergency services, we thank you. Your contribution to our local communities is immeasurable.
Thank you to those who have reached out to ask how they can volunteer and help those affected. While all offers of assistance are appreciated, there is a need to balance these with the readiness of those impacted to request assistance and also the volunteer involving organisations that are working to coordinate and set up vital recovery operations.
Recovery and rebuilding are most effective when coordinated through local and experienced volunteer and community organisations responding to requests for help from impacted individuals and communities. Volunteers provide an essential workforce for this recovery and rebuilding, which will be long-term.
Looking to involve more volunteers?
Volunteering involving organisations working in collaboration with the government will be key in the successful recovery from this disaster. Working together we can provide crucial long-term support to people in the community who have been impacted.
Members are always welcome to contact us to seek additional support and advice on how to best involve volunteers with volunteering. Some resources worth noting:
- Making it Happen. Published in 2018 by our colleagues at Volunteering Queensland, this resource is perfect reading on how to build local capability to manage spontaneous disaster volunteers.
- The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement. The Standards provide a sound framework for supporting the volunteer sector in Australia and are easily adaptable to different organisation types and different forms of volunteering.
- Emergency Volunteering Shared Learning Network. This Network promotes the exchange of knowledge and experience through a range of resources.
How can you show your support?
Volunteering is a good way to help in times of need, but it is important to listen to what is needed to ensure the right help is given at the right time. Not-for-profit organisations are now asking for financial support instead of goods.
If you would still like to donate goods, please contact organisations such as GIVIT - Goods For Good Causes and Foodbank Australia to find out the latest needs.
Accessing emergency relief and assistance
Although we are not currently in a state of emergency, Western Australian has still experienced destructive bushfires this season. Experiencing an emergency can be traumatic and returning to normal life may feel far off, but there are a number of things you can do, and people you can turn to, to get through. In WA there is support, organisations are ready to help you through all aspects of recovery. For more information on accessing assistance click here.
In the wake of an emergency in WA we will require emergency support volunteers who are willing to help those affected. If you are interested in helping during times of need, please register.
We welcome you to contact us during this difficult time with any enquiries. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 08 9482 4333.
- Tina Williams and the team at Volunteering WA