The St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn Tumut Conference has been granted $16,040 from the CommBank Bushfire Recovery Grant.

“We’re grateful to CommBank for allowing us to continue our important work in the Tumut region, assisting people to recover from this summer’s devastating bushfires,” said Pat Mangelsdorf, President of the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn Tumut Conference.

“Six months on from the bushfires we are seeing the toll of stress of the bushfires on the community, so we applied for this grant specifically to deal with that.

“We believe there is a high level of post-traumatic stress within the community, and our people need more than just the basic support services we generally provide.

“With Coronovarius following the bushfires, many of the normal social structures are no longer in place, and the social isolation caused by this is adding to the problem.

“We want to provide opportunity for specific services, these being the grief and loss and types of outreach and mental health support programs aimed at building personal, family and community resilience, thus improving community health and social well-being.

“The CommBank Grant will be used to offer services to children and adults for grief and loss counselling, and mental health programs in Tumut, Adelong, Batlow, and Tumbarumba,” she said.

“The services will be facilitated by a professional, trained grief and loss counsellor, but organised by members of the St Vincent de Paul Society Tumut Conference,” she said.

The conference members will continue to support individuals with expenses incurred due to bushfire, but this grant is for specialised assistance.

To access this assistance, ring 0401 472 161 or email

For more information about the St Vincent de Paul Society’s work in bushfire relief and recovery across Australia, visit                 

17 August 2020