No, this isn’t a film review, but it’s just as dramatic, if not more so – because it’s real.
My country, Australia is on fire. While bushfires do happen in my country, it has never been this catastrophic. For someone who lives near the city, I never thought the smoke from the fires would ever reach Melbourne in the way that they have been, clouding the skies with haze and providing smoky air that is harmful to breathe.
As someone who suffers from chronic and severe asthma, I have been spending most of my time this week gasping for air, even when indoors and with my medication. If we don’t do anything about climate change (which is very damn real), this kind of air, this kind of life will be scarily normal – and it shouldn’t be. My story is minuscule compared to those who have been directly affected by the fires, losing their homes, their livelihood and their loved ones (this includes beloved pets).
So many have been affected by the bushfires which is not a state-wide, nor only a national issue, but a global emergency. The bushfire smoke has been making the glaciers in New Zealand turn brown and has even reached several cities in South America this week. Can you believe it? I can.
But while humanity can change (if willing) to help acknowledge the climate change crisis, there are those that are completely innocent and did not ask for any of this – the animals. Billions of animals have been dying from the Australian wildfires. While there have been reports that the koala population may be able to survive from this, now is not the time to get complacent.
I write this, strongly urging you to please donate (because thoughts and prayers only go so far) to the below causes and help my country while our Prime Minister does a useless song and dance about not wanting to acknowledge climate change, he who irresponsibly and shamelessly went overseas for a holiday (to Hawaii, mind you) while the country did and still does BURN.
I have donated money myself and will continue to do so (and update or add any bushfire appeal links) to the different funds as below. Even though fire can spread, unfortunately and legally, state specific donations do not. Below are bushfire appeals that I believe require much needed love.
I humbly thank-you in advance for any help that you can contribute to my country with all my heart.
Higher Ground Raptor Centre (Australian Native Birds):
Fauna Rescue South Australia:
Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund:
Kangaroo Island Mayoral Relief and Recovery Bushfire Fund:
Victorian Bushfire Appeal:
South Australia Bushfire Appeal:
Country Fire Authority (CFA) Victoria:
CFS (South Australian Country Fire Service) Foundation:
NSW Rural Fire Services:
Australian Red Cross:
The Salvation Army:
Photography by photojournalist Matthew Abbott.