Image by Evan Quartermain & HSI Australia

Environmental Recovery from the Bushfires – 24/01/20

24 January 2020

Welcome to our newsletter for the environmental volunteering response for bushfire recovery.

Congratulations, you are part of a community of almost 8000 people who have already signed up to offer assistance for the recovery effort! We’re hoping to grow this community significantly over the coming weeks and months, and to enable widespread community involvement in the recovery of our natural environment.

We realise many of you are eager to get started, and as you’ll see below, we will have initial opportunities to do exactly that from 8 February.

We also want to remind you that this Recovery will be a marathon, not a sprint. We need you to stay with us beyond the news cycles which move on to other things, because the time that volunteers are needed the most is actually a couple of months away. Many fire affected areas are only just picking up the pieces; assessing the damage and planning what’s needed for recovery. Once that has happened, there will be a need for your help across a huge range of projects and groups will be better placed to accept the support.

In previous disaster recovery situations, many volunteers signed up, but then lost interest or tuned out by the time that call for volunteers came. So please stick with us – we’ll be sharing short term opportunities, important information, and stories from the recovery efforts around the country. Bushfire affected ecosystems and communities are going to need your help for months and years to come and we’ll be there to help make that happen.


Recovery Opportunities

Volunteering opportunities are limited at the moment whilst fires are still burning in some regionsIn many other regions fire grounds are yet to be fully assessed or declared safe.  

However we are already working with partners around the country to identify opportunities for you to get involved. We are expecting to have a number of events in metropolitan and regional centres on the 8 February.  

We will be sending out opportunities in next week’s newsletter. 

In the meantime, have you seen other opportunities for volunteers to get involved in recovery work? Contact us on [email protected] and send us a link or some information, and we’ll get in touch with the organisers to see if they need more help. 


Stories of Recovery

Over 100 people turned out to build nesting boxes in Adelaide for Kangaroo Island and Adelaide Hills – see the pictures on Facebook.

Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary working with the Australian & New Zealand army to install and maintain feeders for remaining koalas on their Kangaroo Island property – see the pictures on Facebook.

Building homes for possums in Newcastle for WIRES – see the pictures on Facebook.

Seen a story of recovery? Reply and send us a link.


Important Notices

The National Recovery Agency website has now launched.

The Minister for the Environment has asked the Threatened Species Commissioner, Dr Sally Box, to convene an Expert Panel to assist in prioritising recovery actions for native species, ecological communities, natural assets and their cultural values for Indigenous Australians, which have been affected by recent extreme fire events.

Message from the Expert Panel:

“While there are urgent decisions that need to be taken, the Panel also acknowledged that the recovery of native species, ecological communities, natural assets and their cultural values for Indigenous Australians will require a sustained and strategic long-term recovery effort that we need to plan for. It will also require a coordinated and collaborative approach across jurisdictions, sectors and organisations. At a time of devastation for our environment, there is also cause for hope and optimism. The Panel is truly inspired and heartened by the outpouring of support and willingness of the community to be part of the recovery effort.”

Find out more about the Expert Panel.

The Victorian Government has published their first report on Biodiversity Bushfire Response and Recovery.

WIRES have established a Wildlife Relief Fund of $1million to ensure rescue groups around Australia are assisted for costs associated with the rescue and care of animals affected by recent fires and the ongoing drought.

Many thanks again for your enthusiasm and engagement. We hope this newsletter provided you with some ideas about getting involved in the short term, as well as helped you understand why recovery efforts need your help in the medium and longer term.

We will be in touch again next week with another email sharing updates about the environmental volunteering response to the Australian bushfires, including opportunities for you to be involved in the recovery.

In your service,

Sam and the CVA Bushfire Recovery Team


Conservation Volunteers is the national coordinator for the environmental volunteering response to the bushfires.

Check our FAQ about the recovery work, or contact us if you want to ask us questions or have ideas which aren’t addressed.

Image courtesy of Evan Quartermain // HSI Australia


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