Canberra says thankyou to fire relief and evacuation centre volunteers!


Released 06/03/2020

Volunteers who worked at local evacuation centres have been thanked for their tireless work this summer at a breakfast catch-up this morning.

Minister for Community Services and Facilities, Suzanne Orr said the work of these volunteers cannot be understated, after the generosity of Canberrans was on full display earlier this year.

“The start of 2020 was a difficult time for many Canberrans, as well as our neighbours in New South Wales and Victoria,” said Minister Orr. “Despite the difficult circumstances, Canberra volunteers were out in force, with more than 100 ACT Government staff contributing their time to manage and support the relief effort.”

Primarily, they were tasked with looking after displaced residents at our relief and evacuation centres during the smoke and bushfire emergency. Over 16 days in January this year, volunteers at the Dickson Relief Centre helped 426 people with more than $31,000 worth of financial assistance. That included 86 nights of accommodation, two hot meals a day and thousands of dollars of goods, food and clothing.

In late January/February, volunteers at the Erindale Evacuation Centre provided safety and support, cooked meals, accommodation assistance and reassurance to over 238 people.

The Relief and Evacuation Centres were established to provide respite and support to people affected by the bushfires in NSW and Victoria. Some of those people were transiting through the ACT - either escaping the flame or heading home to see what remained. Others had temporarily moved to Canberra while they sorted out their longer-term plans.

“Thank you to each and every one of the ACT Government Social Recovery Network volunteers,” said Minister Orr. Many of these volunteers cut short their well-earned Christmas holiday break to help both friends and strangers during what was an extraordinary time.”

- Statement ends -

Section: Suzanne Orr, MLA | Media Releases


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