Through the generosity of our supporters St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria received $5.7 million in funds for bushfire recovery and rebuilding. Over the past 12 months, we have worked closely with local communities and have distributed orcommitted $5.4 million – or 94% of funds gratefully received – to help rebuild these communities.
Twelve months ago, the Black Summer bushfires raced through parts of Australia, and since that time our local volunteers have been working closely with people, schools and local community groups in helping rebuild these fire-impacted communities.
Here in Victoria, we approach our role as second responders seriously, always with a long-term view.
Rebuilding homes, lives and communities can take many years and, as we have been for more than 166 years, we will continue to be here for Victorians every step of the way.
Shortly after the bushfires raged through parts of Victoria we took the very public stance of saying that every dollar raised though our Vinnies Bushfire Appeal would be used to support the people impacted by the fires – and we are proud to state that this has been the case.
In addition, Vinnies Victoria has not, and will never, keep funds from disaster appeals for any other work or cause, and that includes administration. We rely on generous donations from Victorians to support our good works and receive no government bushfire funding here in Victoria.
Our experience after the Black Saturday fires in 2009, Bunyip in 2019 and, now, the 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires told us that it takes take 12–18 months as people slowly return to their towns or to a new location. We will be actively assisting people in these communities for as long as we are needed.
Over the past 12 months, we have:
- Worked with local government to assist people who we had not been able to contact directly.
- Offered one-off community grants for recovery projects of up to $20,000.
- Provided emergency, recovery and rebuilding payments to the value of $3.03 million for people who have experienced loss and critical loss, including funds for land-clearing, water tanks, generators and fencing, as well as material assistance such as food, fuel, clothing, bedding, laptops, school uniforms education fees and other ancillary expenses.
- Provided additional support as identified by the community.
We are ever thankful to the Jewish Community of Victoria for providing $1 million towards education costs for schools and students affected by the Black Summer bushfires.
Over the past 12 months we have distributed all of this generous gift, via activity such as:
- 38 higher education grants to the value of $304,000.
- the 12-month appointment of a trauma counselling social worker at Mallacoota P1-12 College.
- a $250,000 rebuild of a basketball court and sports facility in Mallacoota.
- Two mini buses – to the value of $140,000 – for regional bushfire-affected primary schools.
We are so thankful to everyone who supported our Vinnies Bushfire Appeal. We have always said that every dollar we received here in Victoria through the appeal would go towards funding bushfire recovery and rebuilding, and we have never wavered from that commitment. For an up-to-date look at where bushfire funds currently stand, see below:
|Donations received||$5.7 million|
|Donations Spent||$3.8 million|
|Donations Committed||$1.6 million|
We understand that recovery can take years and we want every person who is still struggling to rebuild their lives after the bushfires to know that Vinnies Victoria is here for them. We urge anyone needing assistance with bushfire recovery to please call us on 13 18 12.