On The Ground and Beyond 2020

My family and I evacuated to safety on New Year's eve when the catastrophic bushfires threatened our lives and home on the small costal town of Surf Beach, NSW, Yuin Nation.  Both my family and our property were spared however many homes on the south coast, the place I grew up that moulded me into the person I am today, has been completely devastated. Homes and loved ones I knew have been tragically lost. These are people who are my immediate friends and family. It’s time to look at this devastation on a micro, personal and immediate level.

Although donations to larger organisations are helpful, they aren’t necessarily being felt immediately. Charities and organisations are being overwhelmed and are largely understaffed, distributing these donations is becoming in itself a difficult and time consuming task.

THE ACTION: to create quick and direct support to those in the Batemans Bay/ Moruya region affected by the fires. To respond to their immediate needs, on the ground and bypass any red tape and bureaucracy that can often stifle emergency relief.  We have been taking donations via PAYPAL, however we have come across continuous red tape that prevents us from accessing those donations at the rate we need to. We have decided to create a gofund page to collect donations for now and in the future.

We have identified 10 families, throughout the South Coast, some are close family friends others we met at the evacuation centre. We are working to support these families in a short term but immediate manner. We want to give these families the support they are not receiving urgently from government agencies or charitable organisations, who have told victims it may take weeks or months before receiving any type of benefit. Many of these families have lost valuable paperwork, do not have insurance, cannot access phones or internet - many factors that block them from accessing this institutional help. Our goal is to disrupt this bureaucracy with a grass roots approach to helping rebuild our own community. 

All donations raised on this platform and PAYPAL will reach the 10 families as fast as we possibly can get it them ( 7 days max! ). Please give what you can or share to those who have the means to. 

Collective healing, Collective Compassion,  

Bhenji Ra

I acknowledge that the devastation that took place was on the stolen land of the Yuin Nation, I acknowledge all Yuin edlers past and present and emerging, I recognize that sovereignty was never ceded and that decolonisation is on going process we must all engage with in order to be free. If we want to begin to look at climate change we must firstly and always be led by First Nations. Always was, Always will be, Aboriginal Land.

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Bhenji Ra
Haberfield NSW

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