Get emergency relief for bushfires and drought

Please call 13 18 12 to speak with Vinnies members in your local area.

If you have been affected by the fires and suffered property loss or damage or require other support, click here to apply for assistance.

If you live in one of the following areas please click here for information on bushfire assistance: Batemans Bay, Bega, Braidwood, Cooma, Eden & Merimbula, Moruya, Narooma, Tumut

Vinnies members are present in communities big and small throughout Australia, and always ready to support locals in times of hardship.

In NSW, we are currently offering emergency assistance for the drought and bushfires. We are able to offer immediate support including:

  • Food and grocery vouchers
  • Clothing, blankets and other essentials
  • Financial assistance to pay bills
  • Interest-free loans for a variety of household items
  • Emotional support and a shoulder to lean on
  • Referrals to an extensive network of other providers to cover crisis accommodation

We also disburse Energy Accounts Payment Assistance funds on behalf of the NSW Government, which can help you pay electricity and energy bills if you are at risk of being cut off by your provider; and Drought Community Support Initiative funds on behalf of the Federal Government, which are available to farmers, farm workers and farm suppliers/contractors in eligible areas.

The NSW and Commonwealth Government offer various forms of disaster assistance. Visit the NSW Government's disaster assistance webpage to find out more.

To access help from Vinnies, please call us on 13 18 12. Then press 2 for bushfire assistance, or 3 for drought assistance.

Donate to support people recovering from disasters

We urgently need donations from generous members of the public, to ensure we can continue to be there for the growing number of people affected by bushfires and drought. We are so grateful that Channel 9 and NRMA Insurance are partnering to support the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal.

Donate to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal Donate to the Vinnies NSW Drought Appeal


How Vinnies has helped people through the drought

In the 2018/19 financial year, the need for our support increased by 77% in drought-affected areas.

During the financial year we provided:

  • Over $600,000 in no-interest loans to more than 630 people experiencing hardship
  • $377,800 worth of Telstra vouchers to help people with the cost of phone bills
  • $2.1 million worth of clothing and household items
  • $1.9 million worth of food parcels

We also helped government funds reach those who needed it most as a provider of the Federal Government’s Drought Community Support Initiative (DCSI) and the NSW Government’s Energy Accounts Payment Assistance scheme (EAPA). We distributed:

  • $6.7 million in drought relief funds to farmers and farm workers in NSW
  • $7.1 million in electricity and energy vouchers to help with the costs of electricity and gas


CASE STUDY: Selflessness in the face of disaster

Bill Baragry, Liz Royal and Marlene McWilliams are just a few of our incredible members who are helping out their communities, even while facing the impacts of bushfires themselves.

Bill had to evacuate his home in early November, while the smoke around Liz’s home was overbearing. Regardless, they volunteered their time at Tuncurry Bowling Club and our Forster Vinnies Shop, helping out locals with clothes, food and grocery vouchers, as well as emotional support.


CASE STUDY: Keeping Floods Creek Station up and running

What remains of the O’Connor family’s severely diminished merino mob is currently scattered across two states. Some of the animals are grazing 500 kilometres from home.

Sonja O’Connor, her husband Luke, and their three kids live on Floods Creek Station, 130 kilometres north-west of Broken Hill. It’s a remote spot severely battered by the big dry.

Drought assistance provided by Vinnies helped to cover much-needed household expenses such as groceries and utilities, as well as pay the car registration when there was an unexpected family crisis. It’s been a hard year, with the farming family not just dealing with the drought, but the recent death of Sonja’s father. And now Luke is working away from the station, over state lines, for about five days every fortnight.

With typical country resilience, Sonja was initially reluctant to receive any assistance through Vinnies and the Federal Government’s Drought Community Support Initiative (DCSI).

“I found it hard to accept that money because I knew there were people in more need of help,” Sonja says.

“But I was really grateful. Overwhelmed, actually, because I was in a pretty bad spot.

“That help towards groceries and bills was fantastic.”

  • NSW Drought Assistance

    The Drought is Taking Its Toll Vinnies is raising money from generous people across NSW and Australia with the purpose of supporting our farmers and farming communities who are experiencing the full force of the current drought. If you or someone you...