A statement from our CEO, Peter Gordon and Chair, Diane Kargas Bray AM:
Already, during this savage summer, many of us have checked in with families and friends in places where land, homes and businesses are lost or under threat.
The Australian community has already been very generous. And while we will always focus on issues in our own region, we are very mindful of what is needed more broadly.
Our own remarkable and resilient community will take years to recover from the impact on people, wildlife, stock and the environment. We are heartbroken as we watch the devastation caused by fires continuing to burn across Australia.
In the coming days and weeks, it will become more clear what communities in our region will need. We know financial security for families will be uncertain. After the disaster has moved off the front pages, community rebuilding will just be starting.
Hands Across Canberra and the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund were created to build strong communities by funding programs which lead to safety, independence and financial security. We are also focused on transforming places in ways that create belonging in neighbourhoods.
Where there is a role for us, Hands Across Canberra wants to use our deep knowledge of community to support the recovery efforts.
Many people witnessing the hurt and devastation are asking the question, “What can I do to help?”.
There are many major organisations, including the Red Cross, conducting impressive fund raising for relief efforts and we will not get in the way of that wonderful work.
Through our Canberra Day Appeal, our philanthropy model can support new regional community-initiated projects but we will need local partnerships and donor support to do this.
Please accept our thanks if you have already supported us and the recovery efforts. Philanthropy can play a direct role in enabling local initiatives to restore fire impacted communities.
Please let us know about any local projects that might benefit from the support of the Canberra Day Appeal, which will be directed to organisations working on recovery.
2020 will be a thoughtful year for all Australians as we consider where we stand with the climate emergency and as we face the recovery.
Our thoughts are with you as part of our community, as we come to terms with the long-term challenges of this crisis.
Diane Kargas Bray AM Chair
Peter Gordon CEO
Hands Across Canberra
Our local community partners are working hard to support the bushfire response. You can get involved too!
** Volunteering ACT will coordinate volunteers in the case of an emergency and works with the ACT Government and charities to get volunteers to where they are needed. If you’re interested in volunteering, you’re encouraged to register your details as an emergency volunteer at emergencyvolunteering.com.au/act—during the current bushfire emergency and into the future, this database of emergency volunteers is the first place Volunteering ACT will turn to for surge capacity.