Home' Rotary Down Under : March 2016 (International) Contents XXXXXX
ROTARYDOWNUNDER.ORG | 17 |
Rotarians rally to support bushfire relief
In January this year, the Shires of Murray, Waroona and Harvey in Southern
Western Australia were ravaged by an uncontrollable bushfire that burnt
for 17 days. The fast-moving fire destroyed 181 properties in the historic
township of Yarloop, claimed two lives, and threatened homes for days,
burning out more than 69,000 hectares.
After confirming where they could provide the most assistance, the Rotary
Club of Pinjarra put $20,000 towards relief efforts.
The first area was trauma counselling support. The GPs Down South
organisation, through the Peel Mobile Health Clinic (PMHC), had begun
providing the trauma counselling service, with an estimated cost of $2500
per week. This soon increased. An anonymous donor provided $10,000, and
the club then provided an additional $10,000.
An Australia-wide appeal was made to Rotary clubs for donations to assist
with the relief work. With the endorsement and assistance of District 9465
governor Melodie Kevan, a relief fund was established.
The club was overwhelmed with promises of funding, and more than
$60,000 was soon available for distribution, thanks to the generosity of
many Rotary clubs and individuals around Australia.
The second area of focus was the impact on farm animal welfare. Apart
from the significant destruction of livestock, the immediate concern was to
organise stockfeed supplies. Rotarians arranged for the immediate delivery of
hay, much of which had been donated, to the affected farmers. Up to mid-
February, over 1000 tonnes of hay had been delivered.
A more immediate farm need was to assist with pulling down
“In the aftermath of the bushfire, with over 500kms of fencing destroyed,
some cattle are still left wandering on what has essentially become a huge
cattle station,” Geoffrey McLarty of the Rotary Club of Pinjarra said. “Over
175 Rotarians from clubs in the region, Rotaractors and other volunteers,
rallied to assist in removing 75kms of fencing and we have also completed a
number of days of clean-up on devastated farms.”
When Rotarians put their collective minds to a task at hand, practical
solutions are identified and implemented rapidly. The generosity of the
Rotarians around Australia is making an enormous difference to the relief
effort that has only just begun.
Donations to this appeal can be made to: The Rotary Club of Pinjarra, PO
Box 94, Pinjarra, WA, 6208.
Weary Rotarians in the middle of a burnt-out paddock following
a day of removing fences and carting feed to distressed animals.
Saving the farm
A chance meeting between two
Rotarians from clubs based 1000kms
apart led to more than $40,000
being raised for District 9630’s
Kevin Schreiber, of the Rotary Club
of Central Blue Mountains, NSW, met
Phillip Charles, past governor of District
9630, at the Sydney Royal Easter Show
in 2015. Phillip and his wife Marlene
were selling small replicas of “Fergie
tractors”, their brilliant idea to raise
money for District 9630’s drought
appeal (they raised more than $20,000
over the course of the show), when
Kevin approached and bought one.
Kevin heard about the drought
extending across South West
Queensland and North West New
South Wales causing extreme
hardship for families who struggled
to pay for the necessities of life and
care for their stock.
Kevin took the story back to his club,
which rallied together to purchase
fluffy toys – rams, lambs, cows, and
pigs – to sell at pop-up shops on a
weekly basis. Under the banner “Save
the Farm”, residents and visitors at
markets and supermarkets were eager
to contribute either by purchasing a
toy or offering a donation. The Rotary
clubs of Umina Beach and North Rocks
also assisted by selling the products
at their local markets and barbecues.
More than $21,000 has been raised
The project caught the eye of radio
hosts Alan Jones and Ray Price as well
as television’s Peter Switzer of Sky
News Business, which helped boost
the campaign enormously. Minister
for Agriculture and Water Resources
Barnaby Joyce wrote a letter of
appreciation after becoming aware of
the clubs’ efforts.
Central Blue Mountains Rotarians Bianca Brown,
left, Kevin Schreiber and club president Noel
Hiffernan sell “Save the Farm” merchandise at a
local growers’ market to raise money for farming
families affected by drought.
Links Archive February 2016 (International) April 2016 (International) Navigation Previous Page Next Page