The unprecedented bushfires across Australia have had a significant impact on the lives of our people, our animals, our homes and our environment.
There are still dangerous weeks and months ahead. Our thoughts are very much with the communities in the path of these unforgiving and unprecedented fires and the brave and tireless firefighters and other emergency services workers charged with defending homes and saving lives.
To support those affected, Maurice Blackburn has committed $100,000 to the Australian Red Cross. The Australian Red Cross is one of many organisations providing emergency assistance and recovery programs to affected communities.
If you are able to, we encourage you to donate cash, essential items or blood to one of these organisations, or directly to our firefighters on the front line. Giving is not competitive - any amount, big or small, will make a difference.
Please note that many charities have asked that you only donate goods if they have specifically requested them, as sorting through items is diverting resources from the fire effort. You can find out what items are needed by visiting their website or social media pages. If you have only items to donate, we encourage you to contact Givit, who have a list of what’s needed on their website and are coordinating the delivery of those items nationwide.
Finally, we wish to draw attention to @spendwiththem. We know that these fires will mean many communities will struggle to get back on their feet – not just physically, but economically. Many towns rely on tourist dollars and small businesses for their survival. This initiative profiles businesses in fire-affected locations. Please support these towns by spending your money in their local businesses. Help them rebuild long after the fire has passed.
If you, or your family, have been affected by the bushfires, here are some resources that can assist you:
Victoria: The Disaster Legal Help hotline (run by Victoria Legal Aid) is 1800 113 432. The DLHV website has recently updated information and community legal education materials as well as webchat: disasterlegalhelp.org.au.
New South Wales: Legal Aid NSW has established a phone line for people affected by bushfires: 1800 801 529.