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Ongoing bushfire recovery in Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island to get $128,000 boost

1 September 2020    

The ongoing work to rebuild and support communities affected in the Kangaroo Island and Adelaide Hills bushfires earlier this year will receive a boost of more than $128,000 in grant funding from BankSA Foundation.

Nick Reade, Chair of BankSA Foundation and BankSA CEO, said there was still important work to be done in rebuilding communities which had experienced losses in the bushfire emergency last summer.

“The ongoing impact of these devastating fires may not be front of mind for many during the winter months, particularly as we deal with the significant impacts of COVID-19,” said Mr Reade.

“However, hundreds of South Australians are still trying to rebuild their lives, homes, farms and vineyards, and to clear and rehabilitate their land.”

Three on-the-ground projects will receive a combined $128,700 in grants to focus on physical rebuilding, mental health support for children and young people, and an initiative to provide farmers with a well-being break and support within another like-minded community. These initiatives will be delivered through MacKillop Family Services ($50,000), Disaster Relief Australia, formerly Team Rubicon ($42,785), and Rural Business Support ($35,915).

Stormbirds is a mental health response and education program aimed at children and young people on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills impacted by the bushfires. It will be delivered by Mackillop Family Services, training professionals working in schools and local agencies as ‘companions’ to deliver the program to children and young people who have experienced loss and change.

Disaster Relief Australia will see volunteers return to the Adelaide Hills to provide hands-on support for bushfire-affected community members. This could include damage assessment, debris clearance, fencing or other needs dependant on the needs of a particular situation.

Rural Business Support will link Kangaroo Island farmers with a group of farmers who experienced first-hand, and led the recovery from, the 2015 Pinery fire. This will provide farmers with a ‘well-being’ break while being able to share their experience and gain learnings from others who have experienced similar challenges.

“This is a process that could take years for those impacted. However, through BankSA Foundation we are determined to support South Australian communities on this journey”, said Mr Reade.

Further Background

BankSA Foundation Bushfire Assistance Grant supported projects to help rebuild communities which have suffered losses during the bushfires, including undertaking physical repairs, family support, community services which have been relocated, recreational and respite programs, medical equipment, and counselling and therapy.

BankSA Foundation has developed a proud history of charitable and community support since 1941 when bank staff first chose to donate part of their wages to send comfort parcels to colleagues serving in the armed forces.

Over the past five years, it has contributed nearly $1.5 million to help small charities make a big impact driven by BankSA employees who continue to raise or donate funds for BankSA Foundation grant purposes.

“BankSA Foundation backs SA communities at a time when they need it most, including helping the communities devastated by recent bushfires as they rebuild their homes, their communities and their lives,” Mr Reade said.