If the arrival of the global pandemic was tough for most of us, imagine what it’s been like for people affected by bushfires less than six months ago.
While the roads are now open, and the television crews have left, Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation is still working hard on the ground with its partners and communities as they continue to recover.
The foundation has been making distributions of appeal donations by way of grants. These follow recommendations from advisory committees and panels of local people. More than $16 million in funding has been approved for specific projects, including:
- generators for Kangaroo Island
- resourcing BlazeAid volunteers with equipment and trailers to re-build fences and sheds in rural areas
- bushfire bereavement counselling and assistance
- emergency relief resources in Gippsland
- emergency relief resources for the Salvation Army in affected areas
- resources for the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency Co-Op and the Gippsland & East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-Op
- housing assistance payments to the tune of $10.1 million
- support for the Man From Snowy River Festival to give high country communities something to celebrate
The Community Enterprise Foundation is also working in three states (Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia) to help communities establish their own local advisory committees – if they don’t already exist. These local committees help drive the distribution of funds, and give local people a clear voice in the decision-making process about what resources they need.
All funds donated to Bendigo Bank during the Bushfire Disaster Appeal in January will help the crucial community-driven recovery efforts and rebuilding processes, for the medium and longer term needs of communities.
Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint, and Bendigo Bank and its partners are here to support fire-affected communities for the long-term.
Read more about Bendigo Bank’s disaster recovery stories here.