Anyone affected by the recent bushfire emergency should contact Vinnies on 13 18 12 for assistance.
If you have been affected by the fires and suffered property loss or damage or require other support, click here to submit your expression of interest to seek assistance. For information on assistance from the federal government, click here.
Vinnies members are present in communities big and small throughout Australia, and always ready to support locals in times of hardship.
We are currently offering emergency assistance for people affected by the bushfires. We are able to offer immediate support including:
- Food and grocery vouchers
- Clothing, blankets and other essentials
- Financial assistance to pay bills
- Emotional support
- Referrals to an extensive network of other providers to cover crisis accommodation
These postcodes have been listed by the Government as eligible for funding in the Canberra/Goulburn region.
Bega Valley: 2546, 2548, 2549, 2550, 2551, 2631, 2632
Eurobodalla: 2536, 2537, 2545, 2546, 2550, 2622
Goulburn Mulwaree: 2579, 2580, 2581, 2622
Queanbeyan-Palerang regional: 2580, 2581, 2619, 2620, 2621, 2622, 2623
Snowy Monaro Regional: 2546, 2551, 2620, 2621, 2622, 2625, 2626, 2627, 2628, 2629, 2630, 2631, 2632, 2633
Snowy Valleys: 2611, 2627, 2629, 2640, 2642, 2649, 2652, 2653, 2720, 2722, 2729, 2730
Wingecarribee: 2579, 2580
For assistance specific to your local area, please refer to the drop down boxes below.
We are doing our best to keep this information up to date, but please understand that details are changing regularly, so we recommend calling ahead if possible.
Please note due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Vinnies volunteers are no longer conducting direct face-to-face visits and interviews. Volunteers can discuss your needs over the phone and advise how assistance can be provided to you during the pandemic. To stay up-to-date with our Vinnies is dealing with COVID-19, click here.
Other organisations and resources:
Please see these handouts for information on how the government and other organisations that may be able to assist:
- Australian Government Services in Response to the Bushfires Part A: Support for Residents
- Australian Government Services in Response to the Bushfires Part B: Support for Small Business
- Australian Government Services in Response to the Bushfires Part C: Support for Indigenous Residents
- Flyer from the Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre
- Information from the NSW Government
Assistance by area and case studies:
- Bushfire Case Study - Ineke
Ineke Smith was one of the many evacuated from their home in Batemans Bay on New Year’s Eve.
“It was freaky. I’ve never been in anything like it before,” said Ineke.
There was a lot of damage to her property, with the garage, carport, fence and garden destroyed, but fortunately the firies saved her house – though it is covered with soot and black gunk.
“It was very, very hairy, but I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I have friends that have lost everything,” she said.
After returning to her property, Ineke was still without power for ten days.
Ineke received financial assistance from Vinnies through the Batemans Bay Recovery Centre.
“The people at the Recovery Centre were just so lovely. It was very well done, and it was so nice to speak to someone face-to-face.”
“It was so helpful to get some money to employ a handyman to help clean up the yard, and take things to the tip,” she said.
“I am very, very thankful for the money. I will put this money to very good use in order to try and get my property back the way it was before the fires.”
“I just want to convey my sincere thanks to Vinnies and the thousands of people who donated, for the generous donation given to me when I visited the Bush Fire Recovery Centre at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club. The people there were just great - understanding and sympathetic.
Thank you again.”
- Bushfire Case Study - Elaine and Gordon
Elaine and Gordon own and operate an eco-tourism agency on the South Coast.
On the 4th of January this year the ‘border fire’ was threatening their region and residents were warned to prepare as the weather pushed the fire their way.
Elaine and Gordon spent the day preparing the house for bushfire, and took all the kayaks and camping gear for their business into Eden. The pair then evacuated to Eden to wait. They went to the wharf and waited all night at the harbour master’s office with hundreds of others.
The next day they knew the fire had gone through their town but didn’t know how it had affected their property. They were eventually told their house was standing, but they weren’t allowed home yet.
When they were able to return home, three days after evacuating, they saw the entire property had been burnt, except for the house.
“We did a lot of work to prepare the house – and clearly it was the right thing to do,” said Elaine.
However, the sheds, the garden, garage and bridge to the house were all destroyed.
Worried about looters, the couple moved back into the house but spent 17 days without power, water, phone or internet connection.
“Having a shower was a planned event. We were camping in our house. It’s definitely not as much fun as our camping trips!’ said Elaine.
“This is our busiest season, and we were heavily booked. We were looking forward to the biggest year ever,” said Elaine.
However, the damage from the fire, to their property and to the surrounding wilderness, meant that all tours had to be cancelled.
“We have a lot of clients from Victoria, and those roads were closed for 6 weeks, so even if people wanted to come on tour they couldn’t reach us,” said Elaine.
Even once they thought they could get back to their tours, the river flooded.
“At first it was, ‘Thank God it’s raining’, but then further tours had to be cancelled - you can’t kayak on a flooded river!” said Elaine.
“This year we’ve also missed out on eights cruise ship tours,” she added.
Without income coming in, the couple were starting to feel the financial strain.
“Our house didn’t burn down, but we don’t have an income,” said Elaine.
“We were insured, but, like a lot of people, have discovered we are underinsured. Like, people have told us we should have insured the bridge on our property– but who insures a bridge?!”
“We were eating into our profits, and then the bills started coming in and we had no money for us.
A few weeks after the bushfire destroyed their property, Elaine and Gordon eventually went to the Bega Recovery Centre to seek assistance.
“It was hard to go in and ask for help. We are usually proud small business operators and support 2 incomes with our tours and campsites. We are very self-sufficient people.”
“A lot of people aren’t asking for help. People saying, ‘there are people a lot worse off than me’, and we are also among the lucky ones – our house is still standing,” said Elaine.
For all the damage caused, the fires bring out a lot of good in people.
“It’s just amazing how it affected everyone. We are all in this together. Some days are full of tears, and others are building us up, and other days we are the ones building others up while they have tears.”
Help and support comes in varied and beautiful ways. After Elaine posted on Instagram a picture of a destroyed protea, somebody who had been on a kayak tour two years earlier got in touch to say they worked for a protea wholesaler and delivered some plants to replace the burnt ones.
Elaine and Gordon received emergency assistance from Vinnies that allowed them to buy food, pay for fuel, and get back on their feet until their tours could start again, and income started coming back in.
“We are extremely grateful to Vinnies for the ‘hand up’. We were reluctant to ask for help but we had no option. We needed to get back on the tours so that business could resume and we could become self-sufficient again,” said Elaine.
“We are so grateful. Thank you.”
- Batemans Bay
Please call 6282 2722 to be put in touch with a Vinnies Volunteer Group.
Please call 6492 4052 on Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 9:30am – 11am to be put in touch with your local Vinnies Volunteer Group.
Please call 0419 445 183 to be put in touch with your local Vinnies Volunteer Group.
Please call 6234 7420 to be put in touch with your local Vinnies Volunteer Group.
Please call 0476 902 943 to be put in touch with your local Vinnies Volunteer Group.
Please call 6282 2722 to be put in touch with your local Vinnies Volunteer Group.
Please call 6234 7404 on Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 10am and 12 noon to be put in touch with your local Vinnies Volunteer Group.
Please call 0400 451 548 (Mon – Fri between 2pm and 4pm) to be put in touch with your local Vinnies Volunteer Group.
Please call 0401 472 161 to be put in touch with your local Vinnies Volunteer Group.