BUSHFIRE CRISIS: Organisations to fund

By: Amanda Martin OAM   |   CEO Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network

Like so many Australians over the "shut down" period, I was glued to the news, fearful for friends and family and in a state of devastation as we watched the catastrophic fire events roll out across the country.

What a devastating way of welcoming a new decade, a moment in history that we will all remember - a climate change tipping point that we must make sure never happens again.

Like so many people across the country, I want to pay tribute to the park rangers, scientists, ecologists, public servants, wildlife carers, local landowners, Indigenous stewards of Country, firefighters, activists and nature lovers who have cared for, nurtured and often spent their lives nurturing and protecting our beloved natural heritage. Their hearts are broken but their courage and commitment to protect what remains, to rebuild animal and bird populations and to restore landscapes are an inspiration to me.

Over the years, thousands of people have put in millions of hours to care for our plants and animals and those beautiful places we go to, to nourish our souls – like Croajingalong National Park, Kangaroo Island, the Alps and the spectacular national parks of southern NSW.

Indeed these places have become havens for our busy selves and are world-renowned icons of places that people dream of visiting. But they are not just there for us – they are havens for the birds and animals that make Australia unique.

I have found myself tearful every day over the holidays and realised I needed to return to work, where I could join forces with AEGN members to respond to the crisis at hand. So, let’s get to work.

Funding the bushfire response and other activities

We asked our members to pool their unique collective knowledge of the environment and communities and to recommend organisations and projects they know can benefit from funding during and following this crisis.

Here are the resources we have put together so far.

These include a range of webinars and face-to-face events to fact check what has occurred, help people understand how to help and to provide support from a leading psychologist in this time of crisis.

We invite all donors to join us in early February on a webinar as we fact check some of the issues associated with the fires. We will explore:

  • What has happened, where and the underlying causes?
  • What is the role of hazard reduction burning in preventing or minimising significant bushfires in Australia?
  • What about the public discourse, the role of the media, trolls, bots and fake news?
  • What are the big picture policy actions Australia can take in the face of such a crisis?
  • Your questions gathered before and during the webinar

Contact us if you would like to discuss how you can deliver the greatest funding impact for both the immediate crisis and addressing the causes of the bushfires.

Time for Action

AEGN members will step up to help meet immediate needs at this time.

But they will also ask some tough questions including why have fires of such intensity and scale happened and why wasn’t more done to prepare for a summer that fire chiefs warned was going to be explosive.

And they will demand action on climate change. It is time to end the fudging and inaction. To end the culture wars. To put the wellbeing of Australians and this precious planet first. Because if we don’t this summer shows us what lies ahead.

If you would like to join AEGN members in using philanthropy’s influence to affect change around the causes of these bushfires, please do let us know by emailing me amanda@aegn.org.au

Feb. 06, 2020

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