Its been a big year, and its seems Australia is going to leave 2019 in a big way, with a wave of cleansing fire. My first experience with bush fires was in 2000/2001 when the Wollondilly local government area in the outer south west of Sydney went up in flames north to south, twice.

I was working for the Council in Picton at the time and living in Camden, the smoke and ash was frightening and the aftermath was overwhelming. I worked closely with local residents, the then Department of Community Services and local not for profit community services to help Wollondilly residents and community get back on its feet. 

I remember the smell, the utter devastation, it felt apocalyptic and I had no frame of reference to deal with it. The trauma stayed with me for a long time, and when I recently found out a dear friend was near the front line of the Warragamba dam fire, my gut churned and the fear rose up inside me.

Thankfully our technology is so much better these days and it is much easier to keep track of where the fires are and know when to get away. It is also much easier to keep in contact with friends and loved ones and know if they are safe and well.

However, the devastation and recovery are still the same. Sending loving energy whichever way you chose to do so, through prayer, Reiki, heart energy, positive thoughts etc is a wonderful and powerful way to help consistently and over long periods, but at the end of the day money and resources are also much needed, by fire fighters, wildlife rescuers and people who have lost their homes and/or livelihood.

I have included below that video I created this weekend and list of places you can donate or provided resources to help communities and individuals fight and recover from the NSW and Q’land bush fires.

This video is my therapy and my commentary.

What we are experiencing is unprecedented, both in the fires and our governments response. We must never forget the apathy and disinterest of both our State and Federal right wing governments as part of their systematic breaking down of support to community; through health, education, community welfare and now emergency services.

I hope that Carrick Ryan in his FB post of 12 Dec 2019 is wrong.

‘… I’m angry because I can tell that as soon as the smoke clears, and the one-line slogans re-emerge, Australians will once again vote for the marketing guy who sold us a lie. It will all happen again. We will again miss the opportunity for change… and we will continue to lose the notions of equality upon which our society has thrived.’

I ask that instead, let us not forget.

If you are keen to help, there are many ways your support can help those fighting the fires and those suffering from the consequences of the fires.

NSW RFS You can donate to your local Rural Fire Service by contacting your local brigade directly or make a donation to the NSW RFS https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/…

Salvation Army The Salvos have launched a Disaster Appeal to support communities affected by the bushfires. To donate to The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal, go to salvationarmy.org.au, call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or donate at any Woolworths checkout.

The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital There are fears that over 300 koalas have perished in the Port Macquarie region of New South Wales alone. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is accepting donations to develop and build watering stations for thirsty koalas on their GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-thirs…

GIVIT If you don’t have much spare cash but do have useful household items to donate to those affected by the fires, GIVIT might be the place to go. We are encouraged to donate funds or specific items requested by residents. You can find GIVIT’s Queensland bushfire appeal https://givit.worldsecuresystems.com/… You can find GIVIT’s New South Wales bushfire appeal https://givit.worldsecuresystems.com/…

Red Cross The Australian Red Cross is supporting communities affected by fires in NSW, QLD and SA. “Our specialist emergency volunteers are providing psychological first aid, working at evacuation centres and helping people to get in touch with their loved ones,” Red Cross says. You can donate to the Red Cross disaster relief and recovery appeal https://www.redcross.org.au/campaigns…

Vinnies The St Vincent De Paul Society is also running a NSW bushfire appeal, to help those affected rebuild their lives – with food, clothing, furniture, other essentials, and funds to pay bills. You can donate at any Vinnies store or head https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals…

MidCoast community A GoFundMe page for the MidCoast community of NSW has been set up by the Lions Club of Taree. You can donate to their cause https://www.gofundme.com/f/midcoast-b…

Koalas in Care Taree couple Paul and Christeen McLeod have turned their home into a makeshift burns unit for koalas injured or displaced by the fires in NSW. They’re currently treating 24 koalas by tending to their burns, wrapping their paws in mittens, and creating beds for the animals to rest and recover. Head to their Facebook page to see what items they’re calling out for, or head to their website to donate to their cause directly. http://www.koalasincare.org.au/?fbcli…

The Rescue Collective The Rescue Collective, in conjunction with Animal Rescue Freecycle and Support is collecting donations on behalf of smaller rescues to help badly burned wildlife who have been impacted by the bushfires. You can donate to the Rescue Collective, or find a list of wanted items for donation with a list of drop-off locations https://www.facebook.com/therescuecol…

WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service) is accepting donations to help their efforts in supporting displaced and injured wildlife affected by the NSW fires. You can donate to WIRES https://www.wires.org.au/donate/emerg…

Australian Lions Foundation Australian Lions Foundation has set up a national appeal to support those impacted by the bushfires across Australia. Lions Clubs are already working with their local communities to identify those who need support – this is why at times of crisis Lions is so effective in distributing support quickly and to those who need it most. You can donate through your local Lions Club or donate online https://www.givenow.com.au/australian…

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