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Victorian Government Website (Victoria, the Place to Be)
Department of Human Services, Victoria, Australia
Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund

Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund

About the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund

More than 109 communities across Victoria were devastated by one of the worst natural disasters in Australia’s history. However, in the face of unimaginable tragedy came humanity and heroism.

Immediately after the 2009 bushfires the Victorian Government, in partnership with Australian Red Cross and the Commonwealth Government, established the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal 2009. 

When the Appeal officially closed on Friday, 17 April, 2009, $379 million had been raised. With interest, that figure now stands at more than $401 million including interest.

Funds donated through Australian Red Cross are held in a separate trust account established by the Victorian Government. These funds are distributed at the direction of an Independent Advisory Panel, chaired by the former Deputy Premier, the Hon Pat McNamara. Other members of the Advisory Panel are the Hon. Robert Tickner, CEO, Australian Red Cross, Christine Nixon, volunteer advisor on Bushfire Recovery; and Pam White, ex-officio, Department of Human Services.

It’s important to note that all the interest earned has gone back into the fund, so that every cent of the $401 million raised by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund has been allocated to bushfire-affected people and communities.

Furthermore, all the administrative costs related to the operation of the Fund are paid by the Victoria Government, which ensures that the donated money has gone – and does go - to those in need.

To date, more than 44,600 payments have been made to individuals and families affected by the bushfires. These payments covered three broad categories: Initial Emergency Payments, Rebuilding and Recovery Payments, and Support Payments.

Of the $401 million, nearly $320 million – about 80 per cent of the Fund – was allocated for emergency, housing, physical, bereavement and psychological support gifts and programs for individuals and families, and more than $80 million was designated for community-strengthening initiatives in bushfire-affected towns and communities. 

$383 million of the donated money has been paid out, representing more than three quarters of the total Fund.

Bushfire Appeal Fund Reports

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