In the wake of this summer’s bushfire crisis, the Paul Ramsay Foundation has set aside $30 million to support devastated regional communities.
An initial $3 million has been allocated for immediate relief efforts to the Red Cross, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and the St Vincent de Paul Society, with the remaining funding of $27 million to be allocated to longer-term recovery work with disadvantaged communities.
The $3 million allocated to immediate relief has now been disbursed.
The Red Cross recovery centres remain busy but they report demand is slowing. Given that the fire season continues, though conditions have eased, thousands of people are at various stages of recovery and are in need of different types of support. Major efforts are underway to target immediate funding to people with the least ability to recover.
The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal has reassessed its grants program in response to the bushfire crisis. The grants offered by FRRR will remain flexible to respond to need. In particular, there will be a focus on preparedness and supporting community connectedness.
St Vincent De Paul has mobilised more than 1,000 volunteers, many of whom have been impacted by bushfires themselves. They have a particular focus on vulnerable communities including older people, First Australians and young children. The Society has been fortunately able to use its connections with the NDIS and homelessness services to better target its outreach.
The Paul Ramsay Foundation stands with our frontline partners the Red Cross, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and the St Vincent de Paul Society as they go about their important work.
We know that the challenges facing communities affected by bushfires will continue for years to come. It will take a national response with Governments, non-profits and affected communities working closely together to enable these communities can overcome the, at times, overwhelming challenges they face.
Ongoing relief efforts
The Paul Ramsay Foundation is committed to supporting those communities hardest hit by the bushfire crisis to restore resilience.
That is why the Foundation has established its own Bushfire Recovery Working group which is working with a range of Australian and international experts as well as organisations involved in major disaster recovery including that which followed the Queensland Floods, Black Saturday Bushfires and the Aceh Tsunami.
Roundtables have brought together these experts in disaster response in Melbourne and Sydney to better inform our priorities for the remaining funding allocated
The Foundation has met with officials from state and Commonwealth Governments to better coordinate our efforts.
Proposals will be developed throughout the next 18 months that fulfil our commitment to longer term recovery initiatives.