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Victoria’s bushfire season is far from over. The Victorian Government is committed to supporting local communities affected by the devastating fires.

This appeal will provide practical support as impacted Victorians begin to rebuild their lives.

How to donate

Donate to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal online or in person at any Bendigo Bank branch.

Donate now

All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible. Donors will receive a tax receipt.

The Victorian Bushfire Appeal is being conducted by the Bendigo Bank’s charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation ABN 69 694 230 518, The Bendigo Centre, PO Box 480, Bendigo VIC 3552.

The Foundation will make distributions to grant applicants, as recommended by the Advisory Panel, to organisations endorsed as item 1 Deductible Gift Recipients (DGR).

What the Victorian Bushfire Appeal will support

More than $16 million is available for those most affected by the bushfires.

People who have lost homes

Housing Assistance Payments of $25,000 will be made to owner/occupiers and renters whose principal place of residence was either destroyed or severely damaged by bushfire.

Payments will be made available through Windermere. Windermere will be paying funds into the bank accounts of eligible individuals. To access the payment, please call Windermere on 1300 946 337 or email bushfirerecovery@windermere.org.au

Community recovery initiatives

The Community Enterprise Foundation, based on the recommendation of the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Advisory Panel, has recommended the remaining funds be used for medium to long-term community-led recovery initiatives.

The distribution of this funding will be assisted by a community consultation process. The consultation will help the Advisory Panel to identify community recovery priorities that are eligible for funding.

Payments to families

Immediate payments of $50,000 will be made to each of the families of people who have tragically died during Victoria’s recent bushfires.

Helping farmers

$1 million, provided through BlazeAid, will help farmers replace boundary fences destroyed by the bushfires on their private property.

Visit the BlazeAid website for information on how to access this support and also how to volunteer.

Immediate support

Funding of up to $4 million will support residents in bushfire-affected areas who have experienced loss of, or damage to, their primary residence.

From $1,000 to $4,500 will be available to people who have lost their principal place of residence. This includes renters and home owners but does not include landlords. 

These payments will be available through the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, The Salvation Army and three Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

  • To apply for the emergency relief payment in East Gippsland, contact the Emergency Response Manager at East Gippsland Shire on 03 5153 9500.
  • To apply for the emergency relief payment in Victoria's North East, contact the Salvation Army at 1300 662 217 or by email at sal.disasters@salvationarmy.org.au.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations:

In East Gippsland, bushfire-affected community members can access this funding by contacting:

  • Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-Operative on (03) 5150 0700; or
  • Moogji Aboriginal Council East Gippsland on (03) 5154 2120.

In Northern Victoria, bushfire-affected community members can access this funding by contacting:

  • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency on (03) 9742 8399.

Victorian Bushfire Appeal Advisory Panel

An Advisory Panel, chaired by former Victorian Deputy Premier Pat McNamara, will consider and recommend where funds are distributed.

Mr McNamara will chair the 7-person panel comprised of:

  • David Impey, Chief Executive Officer, Community Enterprise Foundation
  • Pam White, Chair, Country Fire Authority
  • Joanne Duncan, Former member for Gisborne
  • Natalie O’Connell, Councillor for East Gippsland Shire
  • Sue Cunningham, Director, Victoria, Red Cross
  • Lee Miezis, Chief Executive Officer, Bushfire Recovery Victoria

To contact the panel, please email vicbushfireappeal@dpc.vic.gov.au

Where to get help

It is normal for a distressing or frightening event to affect you physically, mentally and emotionally. Long-running fires in your local area can be extremely stressful and can trigger emotional, physical and psychological reactions.

The Victorian Government is supporting on-the-ground services available to assist families to recover.

If at any time you are worried about your mental health or the mental health of a loved one, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

You can also contact:

  • your doctor or local community health centre
  • a counsellor or psychologist
  • Parentline, Phone: 13 22 89
  • Kids Helpline, Phone: 1800 55 1800
  • NURSE-ON-CALL Phone: 1300 60 60 24 for expert health information and advice (24 hours, 7 days)
  • Australian Psychological Society Referral Service, Phone: 1800 333 497

Call 000 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.

Reviewed 01 April 2020

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