In response to the devastating Australian Bushfires in 2020, The Australian Community raised and sent more than $510,000 to Australian organizations for Disaster Relief in the form of Grants.

To keep our donors and supporters informed of the positive impact these grants have made, and in accordance with our non-profit activities, recipients of grants over $5,000 committed to providing a Grant Use Report.

Below are the Grant Use Reports we have so far received, with links to their respective reports.

OrganizationAmountReport DueCompleted
Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors $49,573YesYes
Country Fire Authority Public Fund Victoria $146,932YesNo
Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria Welfare Fund $31,763YesYes
Koala Conservation Australia Inc. $28,733YesNo
New South Wales Rural Fire Service $170,447YesNo
South Australia Country Fire Service Foundation$3,036NoN/A

Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Grant Use Report

The bulk of The Australian Community’s Grant assisted Rescue and Rehabilitation on Kangaroo Island.

Project Description: Australian Wildlife and Habitat Recovery

Grant Period: Feb 2020 –December 2020

Grant Amount: AUD $49,573

Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors and Wildlife Warriors Worldwide USA are incredibly grateful for the support received from The Australian Community. Your generous donation contributed to our Australian native wildlife and habitat recovery efforts, including the following:

  • Whilst the fires were at their peak your donation helped us provide critical support to the frontline, with wildlife medical and food supplies sent to carers in fire-ravaged areas.
  • Your support also helped us to deploy our emergency response team, rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in one of the hardest hit areas, Kangaroo Island. Over 650 koalas were admitted ot the temporary care facility set up on the island. Our teams rescued koalas in need, provided emergency veterinary care, sourced particular species of eucalyptus to feed recovering koalas and provided expert advice on long-term rehabilitation and release back into the wild.

Ongoing Care

Drought, the underlying cause of the fire, continues long after flames are under control. With a lack of food and water and little habitat to take refuge, remaining wildlife is on the move more than ever, placing them in even more danger from risks like traffic and domestic pets.

The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital has seen a dramatic increase in patients in the last year. We’ve been busy expanding facilities and purchasing specialized equipment to cope with the influx and to prepare for another fire season.

Medical supplies, special food and habitat are all essential components to rescue and release on a wide range of Australian fauna.

Steve Irwin believed if we can save one, we can save the species. With more wildlife now on the brink of extinction, standing together as Wildlife Warriors to save each life has never been more important.

Thanks to The Australian Community, we are continuing his legacy and are committed to the long-term recovery of our wildlife and their habitats.

Thank you, for making our important work possible.

Wildlife Warriors

1368 Steve Irwin Way

Beerwah Sunshine Coast, QLD 4519

Country Fire Authority Victoria Grant Use Report (Pending)

Project Description: Pending

Grant Period: Feb 2020 –December 2020

Grant Amount: AUD $146,932

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria Welfare Fund Grant Use Report

Project Description: Relief of Volunteer Personal Hardship

Grant Period: Feb 2020 –December 2020

Grant Amount: AUD $31,763

The VFBV Board and the VFBV Welfare Fund Committee of Management sincerely thank The Australian Community, for its significant donation through its Disaster Relief Fund to support Victoria’s CFA volunteer firefighters following the devastating bushfires occurring over the 2019/2020 Summer.

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) is an association which represents CFA’s 55,000 volunteer firefighters and is established under the CFA Act 1958, to enable CFA volunteers to consider and bring to the notice of the CFA Board, all matters affecting their welfare and efficiency.

The Association has operated a Welfare Fund since 1913, which provides monetary grants to CFA volunteer firefighters who are experiencing personal financial hardship/crisis. These Grants are designed to assist in alleviating stresses that may impact on the member’s ability to maintain their involvement as a CFA volunteer and therefore their ability to continue protecting their community.

Use of Funds

The generous donation from Australian Community of $31,763 directly assisted volunteer firefighters severely impacted by this year’s bushfires.

In total for the financial year 2019/2020, the VFBV Welfare Fund paid grants of $273,237 to 59 CFA volunteers suffering severe financial hardship, including many volunteers who lost their homes during the recent bushfires.

Following this season’s bushfires, VFBV called for donations to the new VFBV Volunteer Support & Recovery Trust, which was formerly the Black Saturday Recovery Trust Fund established following Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009. The Trust has been established specifically to provide assistance to CFA volunteers impacted by large campaign fires and natural disasters, and is currently receiving donations to support CFA volunteers who have been directly impacted by the 2019/2020 bushfires.

Any future donation to either the VFBV Welfare Fund or the VFBV Volunteer Support & Recovery Trust to assist our volunteer firefighters impacted by bushfires and natural disasters in the future, would be sincerely appreciated,

Jenni Laing

VFBV Welfare Fund Secretary

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria

9/24 Lakeside Drive, Burwood East Victoria 3151

Koala Conservation Australia Grant Use Report (Pending)

Project Description: Pending

Grant Period: Feb 2020 –December 2020

Grant Amount: AUD $28,733

NSW Rural Fire Service Grant Use Report (Pending)

Project Description: Pending

Grant Period: Feb 2020 –December 2020

Grant Amount: AUD $170,447

WIRES Grant Use Report

Project Description: Post bushfire care and rehabilitation of Australian wildlife

Grant Period: Feb 2020 –December 2020

Grant Amount: AUD $77,352

WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) is Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization. WIRES has been rescuing and caring for wildlife for over 30 years and WIRES mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same.

Australia’s Black Summer 2019-2020

The last 12 months has been unlike anything WIRES and the Australian community have ever experienced. Compounding the impact of one of the worst droughts in history, massive fires raged for months in what has become known as Australia’s “Black Summer”. Forty-six Million acres of land was burnt, much of which was threatened species habitat and 20% of Australian forests were lost.

Species thought to be common may need to be reclassified and there are hundreds of species at risk of extinction. A new report confirmed that almost 3 billion animals were killed or displaced by the bushfire crisis, 143 million mammals, 2.46 billion reptiles, 180 million birds, and 51 million frogs.

Following the catastrophic fires across Australia in 2019 – 2020, WIRES is focusing on increasing our capacity to rescue and care for more individual animals nationally and pursuing additional opportunities to help wildlife more broadly, including partnering on projects to improve long-term outcomes for native animals.

Impact of The Australian Community’s Grant to WIRES

With the support of The Australian Community Inc. and its funders, this project aimed to:

“Support the rescue and rehabilitation of injured or endangered fauna, as a result of the Australian Bushfires”

WIRES utilized some of the funds received to provide much needed food and nutritional supplements for animals that have been tended to by our licensed wildlife carers after being rescued.

Examples of food purchased:

  • Milk replacer, specially formulated for each species, for our juvenile animals in care.
  • Specialized supplement pellets for kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and other native herbivores.
  • Koala supplement designed for the nutrition and hydration of Koalas who are recovering from illness/injury and not eating voluntarily.
  • Live food replacement for omnivorous and insectivorous birds as well as nutritional support for sick and injured birds
  • Sustained release energy supplement and electrolytes which is suitable for all animals to assist in recovery during in times of extreme temperatures, stress, illness or injury.

The rest of the funds are being used to build and maintain six koala enclosures at a secure location, able to house rescued animals at varying stages of release readiness. This facility will be located close to one of the worse fire affected regions and will also have the capacity to take in injured, sick and orphaned koalas from other areas, as required.

WIRES is extremely excited to be able to embark on this project, with the support of The Australian Community Inc. and its funders. We look forward to updating you on the progress of this important new asset which will greatly increase our capacity to care for koalas into the future.

To give you an idea of the importance of the pre-release enclosures we are building, this is the story of Marine the koala, rescued back in January 2020:

This story is about a 2-year-old female Koala that came into care in January. She was found walking along the road, as the koalas had no choice but to move around looking for eucalyptus trees that had some leaves with moisture and nutrition. Marine, as she became known, was rescued and taken into care, not as a result of injury but because she was starving.

Fortunately, after 7 months in care, building up her weight and after some reasonable rain in the area she had come from, Marine was finally ready to be returned to the wild. She was moved to a pre-release enclosure 2 weeks prior to her release, to let her adjust back to the local climate and to the local eucalyptus species that were similar to those at the designated release site. After this time, she was released successfully back to the wild and will hopefully contribute to the local Koala population for many years to come.

WIRES is so grateful for the generous support of The Australian Community Inc. and its funders and for the opportunity provided by this funding. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you.

Jennie Murray

Projects & Grants Coordinator

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About The Australian Community

The Australian Community is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. Its Mission is to connect Australian living in the United States through social, professional and charitable initiatives.

All contributions are fully tax deductible under Section 170 of the IRS Code. We are also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under sections 2055, 2106 or 2522.

If you are an Australian living in the United States and you would like to access all the benefits offered by our public charity, consider joining our organization.