Cyclone Debbie recovery fund gets a boost but more support needed

Proserpine Kindy post Cyclone Debbie

Proserpine Kindergarten Image: Emma Buckman

Bendigo, 8 May 2017: Nearly $200,000 has now been donated to the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal to support the hundreds of communities affected by Cyclone Debbie and subsequent flooding.

These funds will be used to support the medium to long-term recovery of the affected communities, including things like repairing community meeting places, replacing children’s play equipment, restoring the natural environment and supporting the mental health and well-being of those affected.

The latest contribution comes from Australia Post’s Our Neighbourhood Trust, which has donated $100,000 toward the fund. Since it was launched, ANZ Banking Group, Bendigo Bank, Aussie Farmers Foundation, Origin Foundation, the Australian Farmers’ Markets Association and dozens of individuals, including His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, have also lent their support to the campaign.

FRRR’s CEO, Natalie Egleton, says the donations will ensure funding is available once people start to think about what needs rebuilding in their local community.

“In our experience, it takes up to a year for people to get themselves and their immediate family sorted, and only then will they turn their attention to what still needs doing in the community. Children’s playgrounds will need to be rebuilt; meeting places, like local halls, will need repairs; outdoor spaces will need rehabilitating; and people will need opportunities to come together and share their stories.

“This fund will ensure there will be grants available to help them rebuild and address many of the issues that typically emerge around mental health and wellbeing, volunteer fatigue and economic redevelopment,” she explained.

While she welcomed the generous donations to date, she said that the scale of the disaster, which is estimated to have caused at least $1 billion in damage, means that more support is needed.

FRRR welcomes contributions of any scale from individuals and from trusts, foundations, corporations and individuals. Tax deductible donations may be made via FRRR’s website: www.frrr.org.au/CycloneDebbie or by contacting FRRR on 03 5430 2399.

To see the difference your donation could make, read about some of the grants provided to support recovery from Cyclone Yasi, and their impact five years on. You can also read and listen to an interview with a local community leader, who shares the importance of funds being available for medium to long-term recovery.

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