With summer in Australia barely a third of the way through, the bushfires currently raging across the country are, sadly, unlikely to disappear any time soon. And they may just get much worse. That’s saying something, too, because already more than 12 million acres have been destroyed, with over 20 human lives lost, along with hundreds of millions of animals. Some reports suggest that as many as 25,000 koalas may have perished in the fires.
At Expat Living, we not only have loads of Aussie readers, but several Aussie team members. Our hearts go out to all of them and any of their family and friends who may be affected. (One of our editors has personal friends who’ve evacuated their home twice in recent weeks, with serious fires coming within 500 metres of the front door – they are among the very lucky ones.)
The good news is that anyone can put their hand up to help fight the problem, even from overseas. Below, we have listed just a few of the key organisations, with links to donation pages. Other than donating funds, you can also contribute by donating accommodation for those who have lost their homes (2,600 homes have been lost already). Many Australians also need temporary accommodation while fires are active in their community. Try contacting initiatives like Airbnb or Find A Bed to offer your available property in Australia.
Some Hong Kong businesses with an Australian link are also working to support efforts. Feather & Bone will host a rooftop party at their Mid-Levels venue on Australia Day. HK$200 from each sale will be donated to Bush Fire Relief. Tickets are HK$600 all-inclusive, available for purchase in-store or online here. Runners may like to participate in the Hong Kong chapter of the Bushfire Relief Run – a 5 or 21km run or walk over the weekend of the 18/19th January.
AustCham HK Bushfire Appeal
Our friends at AustCham Hong Kong are calling upon the international Australian community in Hong Kong, and their friends, to support the bushfire relief efforts. Click here to donate. You can also easily donate to this fund via PayMe (just use the QR code in the link).
Australian Red Cross
Click here to support people at evacuation centres and recovery hubs, provide emergency assistance, support volunteers, cover essential costs, and help with cash grants to people who have lost homes in the bushfires.
NSW Rural Fire Service
Donations made here can directly benefit volunteer firefighters and assist the service as it conducts community activities including fundraising through door-knocks, letterbox drops and functions.
WIRES Wildlife Rescue
As we’ve mentioned, it’s not just people who are affected by the bushfire disaster. The impact on animal populations has been devastating. Donations to WIRES will assist with the rescue and care of native animals in the immediate instance, plus their ongoing protection and preservation.
VIC Bushfire Disaster Appeal
One hundred percent of donated funds to this appeal go directly to communities in need. Those living outside Australia should email the Community Enterprise Foundation at: firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
South Australian Country Fire Service
Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia has been hit particularly hard. Find out how to offer donations to help people and animals in need here, along with general disaster recovery for the state.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army offers financial assistance, support services, information and advice to those impacted by the bushfires. Find contact details for enquiries and donations here.
Finally, you can keep up to date with rolling news services like this one.