For nearly 140 years, the Salvation Army has been helping Australians in need – and after the recent bushfire crisis, the organisation is at the forefront of recovery efforts.
However, the timing of the fires and the influx of donations has presented significant logistical challenges for the Salvos and their hard-working volunteers.
Fire crews in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales have been battling blazes since early September.
The extreme conditions, so early in the bushfire season, fuelled the fires that were labelled unprecedented by rural fire authorities.
When the Minderoo Foundation Fire Fund team visited affected communities early in the New Year, we met Major Peter Spindler in Armidale, northern New South Wales. He and his band of volunteers had already been helping locals through a prolonged drought, before the added devastation of the bushfires.
“We are in that post-Christmas period which means we are short on workers and we really need them,” Major Peter Spindler said.
“We have too many donated goods in one place, and not enough in another and in a disaster like this there is no centralised supply chain. The coordination takes work.”
The Salvation Army offers a range of services and assistance measures to people and communities impacted by disaster, including financial grants and counselling, access to medical and pharmaceutical supplies, temporary accommodation, schooling assistance and survivor advocacy.
So far, the Salvation Army has delivered more than $5 million of relief and support aid to affected communities across Australia. Read more about their work here.
Minderoo Foundation is partnering with the Salvation Army to identify and deliver the support communities need.
Minderoo is mobilising and funding volunteers who can provide support on the ground.
Bushfire affected communities need helping hands from all over the country to move along the road to recovery.
Together with local and government agencies, Minderoo Foundation seeks to help regional towns and communities.