Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience (FFR) initiative and key partners are providing shelter, food and recovery support to families in the Perth Hills community who have lost their homes in the bushfires.
Temporary accommodation pods are being built in collaboration with Australian Portable Camps and delivered to residents who want to return to their property as soon as possible. These recovery pods were first designed in the aftermath of the Black Summer bushfires and to date, 256 pods have been delivered across New South Wales and South Australia – together with local partners that included the
NSW government, SA government, the Red Cross and Salvation Army – enabling people to return to their land.
This successful model of partnering with others will be the guiding principle of Minderoo Foundation’s temporary housing approach in Western Australia.
Fortescue Metals Group employees will make contributions to the Minderoo Fire Fund.
Disaster Relief Australia, with support from Minderoo Foundation, is managing a database of specialist volunteers who will be deployed to areas that have been identified as needing immediate assistance. These volunteers will include Fortescue and Western Force employees, as well as Minderoo Foundation staff who will be helping co-ordinate logistics and communications with affected residents.
So far, 300 meals have already been provided to the Salvation Army network to give to people impacted by the fires.
Minderoo Foundation founders Andrew and Nicola Forrest said the bushfires had brought back memories of the Black Summer bushfires and the damage to homes and properties has been devastating.
“After the devastation of last summer’s fires and our response efforts, I am confident we have the expertise to make a real impact on the lives of people who have lost everything. I am proud to be able to support my fellow West Australians in this difficult time,” Dr Andrew Forrest said.
Nicola Forrest said the speed at which these fires took place, at a time when communities are already dealing with COVID-19 lockdowns, has been a shocking and stressful experience for the Perth community.
“I want to express my heartfelt support for the affected communities, families who may have lost a lifetime of precious memories and at a time when people are still dealing with the impact of a global pandemic,” Nicola Forrest said.
Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience Ground Operations team is on the ground gathering intelligence in conjunction with emergency authorities to assess what is needed. The team is led by recently appointed Rear Admiral Lee Goddard, Leader of Partner Ecosystem, Government Relations and Ground Operations.
Mr Goddard has activated Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Immediate Response and Recovery Framework, which is a plan that outlines how the FFR initiative responds immediately to a disaster.
“We are listening to the affected community and based on the feedback and our analysis, we will work closely with our partners and local authorities to identify potential gaps we can fill and accelerate recovery,” Mr Goddard said.
“We are also continuing to look forward and focusing on adaption and resilience to these extreme events in the future.”
Fortescue Metals Group CEO Elizabeth Gaines said the impact of the bushfires in the Perth Hills is heartbreaking and the thoughts of the entire Fortescue family are with all those who have been affected, including some of Fortescue’s team members.
“Fortescue is very proud to be working alongside the Minderoo Foundation on this collaborative approach, bringing the contributions that each of us can provide to the communities and families who have lost so much.
“Through donations, volunteering by our team members, along with the deep expertise of the Minderoo Foundation Fire and Flood Initiative we will provide the financial and practical support needed for the critical rebuilding and recovery effort,” Ms Gaines said.
Minderoo has been working with over 55 partners to lift national resilience and enable Australia to become a global leader in disaster resilience by 2025. In September 2020, it launched a blueprint outlining a plan to achieve this, with three audacious missions.
Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with eight key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.