Fundraising to support Australian fire-fighting efforts

This entry is part 1 of 31 in the series #AuthorsForFireys firefighting fundraiser series
Brendan from Mallacoota https://twitter.com/brendanh_au photo of Mallacoota sky, midafternoon 4 Jan 2020

Brendan from Mallacoota  posted this photo of Mallacoota, Victoria, sky, midafternoon 4 Jan 2020. Used with permission.

Update: new donation information.

As originally wanted by @EmilyGale and @NovaWeetman, this fundraiser is now officially for ALL fire services in Australia. The official Authors For Fireys Website will be updated accordingly. Winning bidders or auctioning authors can nominate funds to the fire service of their choice. #AuthorsForFireys.

A guest blog/notification from author Emily Gale

In gratitude for the enormous bravery of volunteer firefighters who stand between the public and the apocalyptic fires around Australia, several members of the Australian Young Adult book community have organized an online auction, #AuthorsForFireys.

#AuthorsForFireys

The #AuthorsForFireys auction will take place only on Twitter from Monday 6th January, ending at 11pm AEST on Saturday 11th January. Scores of authors, illustrators and book industry people will host their own individual auction under the hashtag #AuthorsForFireys and bids will take place on each tweet. At the end, the highest bidder will donate the amount directly to the firefighters fund, and the goods/services dispatched once proof of donation has been received.

Items up for auction include signed books, original illustrations, one-off fan-art and craft, unique gifts and manuscript critiques for writers.

There is a supporting site, explaining how it works, at this address: https://authorsforfireys.wixsite.com/website

Given the $18million fundraiser for the NSW RFS this week, proceeds from this auction with be directed to the CFA (Victoria).

I hope to update this post shortly with information about auction items.

#AuthorsForWildlife

Hazel Flynn kicked off a guest blog series about the fundraiser for #AuthorsForWildlife, another awesome fundraiser intended to support the overstretched wildlife rescue organisations. DMZ hopes to host several more blogs about this fundraiser too.

For those who came in late:

First there was #AuthorsForFireys, which is also known as #AuthorsForFiries because Australians can’t decide how to spell it. ‘Firey’ or ‘firie’ is short for ‘firefighter’. Because Australian. It’s who we are. As the extent of the deathtoll and injured wildlife started to really sink in, some authors and artists decided to support wildlife rescue centres. Injured, burnt, dehydrated animals are emerging from the bush in droves. Many Australians are carrying them out of the bush, picking them up from the side of the road. The effort is enormous but resources are stretched all too thinly. Thus Sophie Cunningham begat #AuthorsForWildlife.

Want to know if this is legit?

Yes, it is legit. The whole community — Australian and global — is rallying together to support Australian firefighters, wildlife recuse and bushfire victims. Here are some reports on this effort.

Nalini’s commentary

Brendan from Mallacoota shared the above photo on twitter and has heroically brought us news from the front lines, even deciding to ‘stay and defend’ when experts warned the fires were coming back for a second, worse, go. Below is part of the Emergency Services fire map for the state of Victoria, screenshot taken 5 January 2020 at nearly 2pm. Firefighting efforts continue, evacuations continue.

Navy vessels evacuated some of the people applying, but only people fit to climb rope ladders, their dogs and cats. People with babies and toddlers were left behind in Mallacoota to survive Saturday’s catastrophic fire events. Some are apparently developing respiratory problems.

Our fireys (firies? we can’t decide) heroically solder on, some working shifts of up to 24 hours duration in horrendous conditions, record heat, unpaid and — at least in NSW — with substandard equipment. The 3 firefighter deaths caused by trucks rolling may have been prevented if roll cages were installed in volunteer firefighters’ vehicles. (One was a car accident and the other accident was when a firenado flipped a truck.)

Volunteer firefighters (at least in NSW) have been crowdfunding their own firefighting equipment. One mainstream video – the one with the heroic ‘sweary firey’ from Nelligen – showed a companion who appears to be wearing a P1 mask. P3 respirators are essential for firefighters but the Prime Minster insists that volunteers only need P2 masks. In December he refused funding to replace worn out masks, uniforms etc. Officials have tried (and succeeded, at least in part) to shut down crowdfunding of essential firefighting equipment. Funding Indue’s ‘cashless welfare card’ at $10,000-$12,000 per person per year, replacing the war memorial, arming police with assault rifles, spending millions on fake water buybacks etc, is all much more important. And the government won’t allow the bad PR fallout of crowdfunding essential equipment, preferring to cast shade and some media has even vilified fireys. (I won’t repeat these allegations.)

Our heroic volunteer firefighters and others like Brendan have been holding the line against the worst fires ever. Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton has tweeted asking that ordinary people fund fire fighting and recovery efforts, which is consistent with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s statements in December. Well, let’s get to it.

The Notre Dame rebuild was funded by billionaires. They’re not going to help ordinary Australians. Perhaps you can instead.

So far…

Celeste Barber has raised $19,000,000 so far.

Because the Divine Miss M lived up to her name while slapping down our PM, and Celeste and P!nk — well, read on.

P!nk has donated half a million.

Another guy – a cricketer I think – said he’d donate a month’s salary.

Firemen calendars sales and donations amassed over $30,000 in the ACT alone when I spoke to a salesperson shortly before Christmas.

Everyone is trying to do their bit.

#AuthorsForFireys are trying to help too, by offering tasty morsels for discerning shoppers.

fire map in Victoria as of 1:50 pm 5 January 2020 #AuthorsForFireys 

Series Navigation#AuthorsForFireys podcast: Zana Fraillon >>

1 Comment

  1. This is a brilliant initiative from Emily Gale and Nova Weetman, and it’s great to see so much support for it.

    Another excellent Twitter fundraiser along the same lines is #AuthorsForWildlife, started by Sophie Cunningham. It works along the same lines: authors are offerings books (and in some cases manuscript assessments / consultations) to the highest bidder on each person’s thread who makes a donation to specified wildlife bushfire rescue/rehab organisations. There are all kinds of great things on offer.

    I’m proud to include my new kids’ book Ninja Bandicoots and Turbo-Charged Wombats in the fundraiser. It is about conservation champions including scientists and zookeepers who are at the cutting edge trying to pull our most endangered species back from the brink, and the animals they are saving. It was a privilege to tell their stories and offers a ray of hope that’s needed now more than ever.

    Go to Twitter and search out #AuthorsForFireys and #AuthorsForWriters to check out the offerings and support one of these great causes.

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