The small community of Goongerah in East Gippsland has been horribly impacted by fires still raging across the country. All residents are safe and accounted for, but 10 people have lost their homes. The town remains cut off, and the impact these fires have had on homes, properties, wildlife and the surrounding forest is devastating.
Many of the people affected by these fires have for years been on the front lines of the campaign for protection of East Gippsland’s precious forests and wildlife. Now we are calling on people to help them to rebuild their lives.
It will take months of hard work and resources for the community to recover. With months of on-going and severe fire risks still to come, the community remains vulnerable. They need your help to prepare.
Here’s how you can help:
Friends, family and ex-residents from Goongerah have set up a website to co-ordinate materials, donations, and assistance for people who had to evacuate from their homes, and folks who stayed to defend their property. All donations and resources go directly to supporting the people living in this remote and special community, who for years have dedicated their lives for the protection of forests in East Gippsland. Donate here
Important items needed include;
Medical supplies for humans and wildlife, water, fuel, food for animals (dog food, chook pellets, lucerne), building supplies and materials, solar panels, generators, water pumps.
Click here for a detailed list of materials needed and to find a local drop-off location
Rena and Joe are long term conservationists who have dedicated their lives to protecting forests and looking after injured and orphaned wildlife. They turned their small property in Goongerah, East Gippsland, into an incredible wildlife shelter, but Joe and Rena's house and the wildlife shelter burnt down in the intense bushfires that burned huge areas of forest in Goongerah and surrounds.
By donating funds to the Wallabia Wildlife Shelter you can make sure that Rena and Joe can take on injured and orphaned wildlife when they get a rescue call. Every bit will help. It costs around $10,000 a year for a full house. If you can help us raise $20,000, Wallabia Shelter will have some financial security for the next two years. There are not many people who would dedicate their lives, almost all their time and money to look after wildlife. Rena and Joe deserve all the support they can get to carry on this incredible work. Our declining and endangered wildlife need all the help they can get.
Click here to help Rena and Joe to keep providing shelter and food for wildlife in need
You can also donate to the Goongerah Wombat Orphanage. They needed to evacuate their home and wombat sanctuary and are yet to return to the property based in Gippsland Victoria. Their neighbour bravely stayed behind and has saved their home but they have still not heard if any of the wildlife and wombats have survived. The surrounding bush land has burnt to the ground. Emily and her mum will be needing support to rebuild their wombats safe place and provide critical support to injured, starving and homeless wildlife.
Support the Goongerah Wombat Orphanage here
Property in Goongerah ravaged by the fires
Jill Redwood defended her property in Goongerah single handed against severe fire all day and night and managed to save most of it. When her hoses stopped working, she beat the fire off with a wet hessian sack! For those who don't know Jill, she has been campaigning for East Gippsland’s forests, coordinating Environment East Gippsland, putting up landmark legal cases for forest protection and running her inspiring, fully self-sufficient farm for decades. She faces a long summer of firefighting, you can send donations directly to her below:
BSB 633 108
Acct #1204 19064
Many First Nations people's in East Gippsland have been severely affected by the fires, forcing them to evacuate homes, properties, and culturally significant places. Many people will need resources and temporary and ongoing living arrangements in other parts of Victoria and NSW.
Donate here to directly support First Nations people’s of East Gippsland.
Fires are likely to continue burning in East Gippsland for months, and people in the remote community of Goongerah are on the front lines of the climate catastrophe. Governments and politicians have abandoned the people most vulnerable to the devastating effects of climate change. But communities and people are resilient, and the world is waking up to the ongoing destruction of our natural world which is fueling the climate emergency.
Thank you so much for your support from everyone at GECO.
GECO acknowledges the the Gunaikurnai and Bidewell and Monero people of the lands of so-called East Gippsland. We pay respect to the thousands of years of their ongoing custodianship. Sovereignty was never ceded. Always was always will be Aboriginal land.
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