Earlier this year our industry came together to raise over half a million dollars to help those impacted by the Black Summer disaster through the Mortgage and Finance Industry Bushfire Relief Fund.

Now, Australian Red Cross has provided a progress report at the six-month mark of their bushfire grants and recovery program.

According to Australian Red Cross, the funds raised through the industry’s efforts have meant 4,380 Australians (and counting) have received grants that helped them meet immediate needs, make repairs, cover out-of-pocket funeral or hospital costs, or re-establish a safe place to live.

“There is a long road ahead. Many people are living in caravans while they wait for their land to be cleared and rebuilding to begin. The trauma they have endured will continue to manifest in the months and even years ahead,” an Australian Red Cross spokesperson said.

“Because of you, we can walk with bushfire-affected communities on this journey. Our recovery officers live locally, getting to know everyone who is affected and checking in on them. They act as a bridge between the community and government and service providers: organising recovery events, training community services and community leaders in disaster recovery, and advocating for those most vulnerable.

“The Black Summer response has been an incredibly complex operation, requiring us to set up a dedicated grant payments team to get several millions of dollars out each day, provide additional case work for people with complex needs, and ensure our systems were robust enough to prevent fraud and protect data.

“Our recovery work will continue and alongside this, we are investing in preparedness. We are working with communities to raise awareness, start conversations, and share simple, practical tools and resources to ensure all Australians are as prepared as they can be.  If you would like to continue the journey with us and learn more about our Preparedness Week campaign, please let me know.

“Thank you again for your generosity towards those most impacted by the Black Summer,” the spokesperson added.

The MFAA would also like to thank everyone who generously donated through the Mortgage and Finance Industry Bushfire Relief Fund to help those impacted by the Black Summer disaster.