There is no denying that Australia is in an unprecedented crisis – and if you’re lucky enough to be in an unaffected area, you may be tempted to turn off the news and end the conversation out of sheer helplessness. However, awareness is empowerment – and we hope these ideas will empower you to do anything you can, rather than switching off the reality that faces us.
1: Donate Money
This may seem impersonal or indirect, but forking out your Christmas cash is the single most helpful thing you can do. It’s what our local charities and communities need the most. If you’re not financially prepared to make a donation, consider donating spare food or house goods – however, these items take up precious space in evacuation centres and may not be what is needed at the time.
Support your local fire service
Support the local wildlife
Support disaster relief
- The Australian Red Cross
- The Salvation Army
- St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal (NSW)
Support Private GoFundMe fundraisers – there are thousands of results if you simply search “Australia Fires” on GoFundMe. GoFundMe has removed their service fees so 100% of your donation will go towards the cause of your choice.
2: Send a Letter To Your Local MP
If you are disappointed in our governments’ climate inaction, now is the time to speak – and nothing speaks to politicians like votes do. Anna Richards wrote an impassioned letter to her local MP and is urging others to do the same. The letter (which can be downloaded here) outlines the environmental concerns that face Australia, politely demands urgent action from her local MP, and makes her voting position clear as dependent on environmental policies.
A single letter may not change anything – but thousands will. Politicians can’t and won’t ignore the call of voters, so it’s time to make our priorities clear to them. Read Anna’s full post here and get the template letter here.
Like writing a letter, marching will make voter’s opinions loud and clear. Check out your local march, bring along your best signs and meet like-minded folks.
- Sydney: Friday 10th Jan, 5:30pm at Sydney Town Hall
- Melbourne: Friday 10th Jan, 6pm at State Library
- Brisbane: Friday 10th Jan, 5pm at King George Square
- Adelaide: Friday 10th Jan, 5pm at Beehive Corner
- Perth: Friday 10th Jan, 5.30pm at Forest Place
- Canberra: Friday 10th Jan, 5.30pm at Garema Place
- Newcastle: Friday 10th Jan, 5.30pm at City Hall
- Geelong: Friday 10th Jan, 5:30pm at Little Malop St Mall
- Wollongong: Friday 10th Jan, 6pm at Arts Precinct
Find more at http://www.climatechangeprotests.net.au/
4: Donate Blood
The Australian Red Cross and Life Blood Australia need blood donors in emergencies more than any other time – not only do donor numbers decrease due to the fires, the need for blood continues to increase for fire victims. Click here to find out how you can donate.
5: Share Your Space
If you have a spare bed in your home, consider offering a place to those affected through Find A Bed or Airbnb (Airbnb has set up disaster relief here). There are also Facebook pages like this beautiful group of Canberra locals offering emergency accommodation and goods to the affected families.
6: Volunteer Your Time
If you’re closer to the affected areas, consider helping your local disaster relief organisation with whatever time you can offer. We’ve listed some places you can volunteer below, but recommend doing your research to see what’s available locally:
- The Salvation Army
- Red Cross
- St Vincent De Paul Society
- Your local Rural Fire Service
- Your local wildlife rescue service
7: Spread The Word
Start the discussion at dinner, share good news stories (there are some beautiful ones here), put social media pressure on your local MP (be sure to tag #attnscottmorrison)! Spread the word to everyone you know – local or international - and offer them ideas on how they can provide support too.
You're welcome to use any of the below graphics in your own posts and stories:
We hope this article will leave you feeling empowered and hopeful rather than helpless. Leave your suggestions below if we’ve missed anything, we’d love to hear and share your ideas. Let’s do this, Australia!
Words by Amy Fraser.