Helping Australians from Bushfires to Floods

Rotary is about making a difference.  In 2019/20 it was all about Bushfire relief. Our Rotary Club members assisted Blaze Aid and also assisted in Cobargo with recovery. In conjunction with Rheem Australia and Dural Men’s Shed, the Club organised two loads of water heaters for the bush fire rebuild on the south coast.

And then came the floods. Our small club worked with a much larger group – The Indian Hindu Community who had 60 young members from around Blacktown and Hills LGA, to reach out to the flood victims in the Hawkesbury LGA.  The volunteers helped clean up affected households along with homeowners and provided survival kits containing essentials items such as fresh fruits, canned food items as well as cleaning equipment.  The volunteers also helped clean up affected homes working alongside homeowners and arranged volunteers with removalist trucks to help transport large items. The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International granted a Disaster Response grant used to purchase Bunnings and Woolworths gift cards and 20 of these cards were provided to families in need of immediate financial support. The Club recognised Pankaj Patel from the Indian Hindu Community with a Community Service Award for this work.

The Club also sprang into action using its connections to assist flood victims on the north coast of NSW. In conjunction with The Dural Men’s Shed and Rheem Australia, the Club managed to source water heaters for flood victims, but a new problem emerged – how to get a semi-trailer load of water heaters valued at around one hundred thousand dollars transported and into the Lismore Flood Relief Centre with all that was going on. A simple answer arrived via a group that the Club was introduced to – Turbans4Australia. This group has connections, transport, warehousing and was already active in flood relief.

In addition, funds were raised at “Jazz at The Pines” Community events run by the Club. This created a donations of over $2,500 which was given to  the Wisemans Ferry Men’s Shed to help get the Men’s Shed re-established as well as some locals after losing everything in the floods