Community Relief Fund launched to support fire affected communities

9 March 2019

Emergency Management Victoria has partnered with Bendigo Bank to establish a Community Relief Fund in support of community members affected by the recent south east Victoria fires.

The Fund aims to support communities across Cardinia, Wellington, Baw Baw, East Gippsland and Latrobe areas where the fires destroyed homes and impacted communities.

The Fund provides a formal channel for the public to donate money directly to affected communities and is designed to achieve positive outcomes for the community, by working directly with local recovery committees and structures to inform and drive the distribution of funds.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp thanked the community for their support for impacted communities during the recent bushfires. 

“The impact on these communities has been significant. Recovery is different for everyone and some people, families and communities have a long journey ahead of them.”

The Community Relief Fund is a vital part of encouraging affected communities to play an integral role in managing their own recovery, by being part of the Fund distribution process, along with councils and the emergency management sector.

Community members who want to help can donate to the Fund, which will be distributed collectively across impacted communities, rather than to individuals or specific groups.

The Community Relief Fund is facilitated through a Memorandum of Understanding between EMV and Bendigo Bank. It is delivered through the Bendigo Bank branch network and has already been used for the collection and distribution of donated funds following emergencies.

Bendigo Bank and the Latrobe Regional Hospital have worked with representatives of Bunyip and Mirboo North Community Bank® branches, Department of Health and Human Services, Cardinia, Baw Baw, Wellington and East Gippsland Shires and the City of Latrobe to establish this public appeal to support community recovery from the 2019 Gippsland bushfires.

Funds raised will be used for a range of locally identified charitable initiatives such as clean-up activities, business support or counselling, temporary fencing, and water quality control measures.

Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation CEO David Impey said the Fund was able to help build stronger local communities by helping them respond to their current and future needs.

“We urge people across Australia to donate to the Fund and support communities who have been impacted.

“Our past experience tells us that Australians are generous when it comes to helping those in need. Monetary donations are effective and provide more flexibility than the donation of material items or pre-loved goods.”

Donations to the Community Relief Fund can be made at any Bendigo Bank branch or online via… (External link) Anyone wishing to support their local community is encouraged to donate directly to this Fund, as monetary donations are effective and provide more flexibility than the donation of material items or pre-loved goods.

South East Victorian Fire Appeal is a management account of the Community Enterprise Foundation™ ABN 69 694 230 518, PO Box 480, Bendigo Vic 3552. Funds raised from this appeal will be disbursed as grants and gifts to eligible charitable organisations to assist with relief, recovery and reconstruction projects for communities in the fire affected areas of south east Victoria.