$10 million to mobilise specialist volunteers from Western Australia, $10 million in immediate bushfire relief funding and a $50 million investment to support the development of a long-term blueprint for fire resilience were today announced by philanthropic organisation Minderoo Foundation.
Minderoo Foundation founders Andrew and Nicola Forrest said the unprecedented bushfire season, with large fires burning across the country, had devasted families, communities, industries and wildlife.
“With incredible courage and determination, Australians have united to help those devastated by these bushfires,” Andrew Forrest AO said.
“We can all be proud of the efforts we have witnessed across the country to support those fighting the bushfires, those affected by them, and those seeking to provide support to people and wildlife. We extend our deepest sympathy and hope to all those affected.
“At Minderoo Foundation, we want to provide immediate relief because, like so many other West Australians, we mourn the hardships of our fellow countrymen and women. We recognise that we don’t have all the answers, but we want to understand what communities need and do our bit to help them now and as they regroup in the coming months.”
Nicola Forrest said the tragic loss of lives, the scale of the destruction of homes and properties and the devastation to Australia’s unique landscape were difficult for many Australians to comprehend.
“In the weeks and months ahead, people directly impacted by these fires will need both practical and emotional support,” Nicola Forrest AO said.
“They will need time to grieve their loss and to deal with the trauma of the experience and they will need practical help to start the process of rebuilding their lives. While rubble that was once someone’s home might now be unrecognisable, it is still home.
“Beneath the ash, memories still exist, and these should be treasured. We hope Minderoo Foundation’s contribution will complement existing efforts, provide hope to those hurting and encourage others to help in any way they can – big or small.”