Bushfire Recovery: How To Help Australia's Devastated Communities

As parts of the country endure one of the most dangerous bushfire weeks the nation has ever seen, here's how you can support the communities that have been devastated by the crisis.

Salvation Army spokesperson Major Bruce Harmer said the Salvos have deployed relief teams to provide food and water, along with emotional and practical support, to emergency services personnel and displaced people as they arrive at evacuation centres.


“The Salvation Army is already preparing for the recovery phase of this disaster,” Major Harmer told AAP.

Thomas Eveans inspects the remains of his house which was destroyed by a bushfire in Torrington, near Glen Innes. Image: AAP
A property destroyed by fire at Koorainghat, NSW, Monday, November 11. Image: AAP

“We know from experience many of those displaced by the fires are going to need us for many months or years ahead. We are committed to standing alongside these communities for as long as it takes to get them back on their feet.”


Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) teams are active across 12 evacuation centres through NSW and Queensland, with another evacuation centre being established today in Lismore, northern NSW.

“What is unfolding across New South Wales and Queensland is unprecedented,” Major Harmer said.

“So, I appeal to the Australian community for an unprecedented response to our disaster appeal. These communities are going to need unprecedented support and we’ll be there to support them for the long haul. Australians are well known for standing together in times of hardship. Now is such a time.”

Lyn and Peter Iverson with their burnt-out office and shed on their property at Half Chain road, Koorainghat. Image: AAP

The Bushfire Disaster Appeal has been bolstered by Woolworths’ $500,000 donation as part of its S.T.A.N.D (Support Through Australian Natural Disasters) partnership with The Salvation Army.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has also announced a $50,000 donation to the appeal on behalf of the State Government.

To donate to The Salvation Army Bushfire Disaster Appeal, go to, call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or donate at any Woolworths checkout.

Wytaliba resident David Peters built what was affectionally known as the town ‘tavern’ on his property. On Friday, he watched the tavern, and the rest of his property burn around him. Image: Getty

A number of other appeals to help people who are affected by the bushfires in both QLD and NSW are also taking donations.

NSW Rural Fire Service Brigades and Donations Fund

Donors can support their local rural fire brigade with money helping fund training and emergency responses for people working across NSW.

Information on donating money and gifts to the NSW RFS is available here.

GIVIT Queensland Government Fire Appeal

The Queensland government is using its fundraising platform GIVIT to encourage people to donate to help people impacted by fires.

Donors can give both money and items to the appeal by heading to the GIVIT website and selecting the QLD Fires or NSW Fires tab.

QLD fires November 2019. Image: QLD Fire & Emergency Services
Red Cross Relief And Recovery

The Red Cross Relief and Recovery Appeal raises money for people who are experiencing the impacts of a natural disaster or trauma. Donations made to the appeal help train staff and volunteers who become first responders to emergency areas, and help prepare communities for natural disasters.

The money is also used to supply emergency areas with water filtration and other hygiene equipment. Donate at the Relief and Recovery Website.

St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal

Vinnies is also running a bushfire appeal to collect funds for those affected by evacuations or have suffered

People can choose to donate set amounts to help provide food for evacuated families, contribute towards bills and unexpected expenses, provide clothing for families who have left everything behind or help cover costs of household goods such as bedding, furniture and appliances, for those whose houses were damaged or destroyed.

Appeals For Animals

The effects of the fires are also being felt by Australia's native animals.

Image: Facebook/Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

More than 350 koalas were burned live at Lake Innes Nature Reserve near Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid-North Coast.

Koalas can be 'adopted' at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital website. For $60 a year, treatment and recovery costs for a koala in need are covered.

To support koalas and other wildlife more generally, you can donate to FAWNA NSW incFriends of the Koala LismoreTaree Koalas in Care.

The Rescue Collective is collecting supplies for animal hospitals in both Queensland and NSW. Supplies can be dropped off at a number of locations or purchased online to be sent to their headquarters. Monetary donations are also accepted.

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