2020 has been quite a year starting out with the bushfires and followed by the Covid pandemic. This article is intended to bring you up to date with our Club’s significant contribution to the bushfire relief effort after the catastrophic devastation which occurred at the start of this year.

2020 has been quite a year starting out with the bushfires and followed by the Covid pandemic. This article is intended to bring you up to date with our Club’s significant contribution to the bushfire relief effort after the catastrophic devastation which occurred at the start of this year.

In June 2020 a cash donation of $10,000 was directed to the East Gippsland Rotary Fire Aid as part of the Community Service Committee program. These funds were divided into the following categories;

1.     Hay/Fodder/ fencing, many land-owners have insurance for their fencing and only require volunteers to assist with cleaning of fence lines. Others will require hay / fodder for their livestock, this we are presently assisting with.

2.     Money vouchers, to allow people to purchase new items they can determine for themselves within the local area, returning dignity and independence to the survivors.

3.     An emergency fund for items that sit outside the above two categories and are deemed to be having a great impact on a community or a family and need urgent action.

4.     Community BBQ’s and working Bee’s to assist and support small communities to reconnect with neighbours that may have had to find temporary accommodation outside their local area & support network.

A group of Rotarians from our Club spent close to a week assisting Blaze Aid with fence replacement work in the Corryong area. A mighty effort and an example of great hands-on service.

 
During January 2020, the Camberwell Sunday Market, which is supported by local Rotary Clubs, raised funds for the Australian bushfires appeal.
 
The Eastern Cluster Bushfire Group was formed to determine how the donations collected were to be allocated. Funds were supplemented through the RC of Melbourne’s District Grant application. The major items donated to the bushfire relief effort include:
  1. The acquisition and refurbishment of 16 caravans. One was donated to Blaze Aid to provide accommodation to overseas backpackers on Kangaroo Island and the other 15 were delivered to those who lost their homes in the fires. Three have been delivered to the Corryong area in the Upper Murray and the other 12 went via Bairnsdale to small towns in East Gippsland such as Goongerah, Club Terrace, Wairewa and Genoa.
  2. In Mallacoota, the need for a community trailer was reported and a single axle 6 x 4 trailer was refurbished and donated to the community.
  3. There has also have a request from farmers for a portable timber cutting mill to cut up fallen trees. Our group will contribute to the purchase of a mill.
  4. A tree planting project is in planning. Seeds are being collected to create seedlings which will be planted when they are ready.
A video presentation about this project can be found on the RC Camberwell website.