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Australian Bushfires

Report: January–December 2020

We don’t have the words to thank you all. But our friend, author Thomas Keneally does.

In recognition of the humanity shown by Australians in the 2020 bushfire response and recovery.

Our thanks to everyone who shared their stories of courage and dignity. Photos: Australian Red Cross/Aysha Leo, Dilini Perera, Rodney Dekker.

Twelve months ago, Australia was in the grip of the worst bushfire season on record.

This report is for all those who endured the fires, and all those who placed their trust in Red Cross to help them. We have striven all year to be worthy of that trust.

What your generosity made possible in 2020

Before the fires

313,477 people created personalised emergency plans with our support 

During the fires

49,718 people were supported at evacuation centres and over the phone

After the fires

5,914 people received financial assistance to meet urgent needs, make repairs, cover funeral or hospital costs, or find a safe place to live ($187m in grants to date)

21,563 people have been assisted with recovery

Communities in 46 local government areas are covered by our recovery program

From those who endured the fires

Sherrie

“The fire knocked me down but I’m up and I’m walking now.”

Matt

“Every day is a battle, but I just focus on the next thing.”

Peter and Nirbeeja

“The giving from humanity has really blown me away.”

Key articles from the report

Paying our respects

Wandi Wandian woman Jenny Brown's reflection on the fires and their impact on lives, totems, sacred sites, songlines and more.

How we paid grants

Why providing financial assistance was a balancing act between compassion and diligence.

Advisory panel

The independent experts who guided decisions about donated funds.

How your donation helped

This video explains how every dollar you gave is being used.

Our gratitude is endless

We are grateful to every single person and organisation who gave, raised funds, and donated time and effort to help out.

The organisations represent our top financial donors

Apple, A2 Milk, Accent Group, Accor Hotels, AESOP Foundation, Afterpay, Air New Zealand, Amcor Limited, American Australian Association, American Express Foundation, AMP Foundation, ANZ, Ansell, Apple, Campbell Arnotts Group, Arts Centre Melbourne, Ashurst LLP, ASX Limited, Aussie Home Loans, Australia Post, Australian Football League, Australian Nursing Federation, Australian Olympic Committee, Australian Unity, AV Jennings, Bakers Delight, Bank of America, Baxter International Foundation, BHP Foundation, Bluescope Steel, BMW, Boohoo.com, BP Australia, Breville, Broadsheet, Bunnings, Bupa, Burberry, California Community Foundation, Canaccord Genuity, Capgemini, Carnival Australia, Carsales, Cartier, Catch.com.au, CBRE, Chanel Australia, Charter Hall, Chep, Chevron Australia, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, China Steel Corporation, Chubb Security, Citi Group, City of Sydney Council, CMV Foundation, Coles Group, Colgate-Palmolive, CommBank, Conoco Phillips, Costco, Country Road Group, Cricket Australia, Crown Resorts Limited, CSL Innovation, David Jones Limited, Dell Australia, Diageo, Dulux Group, eBay, EDL Group, Endeavour Energy, Ernst & Young, Essilor Australia, Estee Lauder, F45 Training, Facebook, Far East Land, Fitness & Lifestyle Group, Flexigroup, Flybuys, Ford Foundation, Foster's, Foxtel, Fulton Hogan, Gandel Philanthropy, GE Foundation, Genesis Care Ltd, GHD Sydney, Gilbert & Tobin Lawyers, GlaxoSmithKline Australia, Google, GPC Asia Pacific, GPT Group, Great Heights Charitable Fund, Gumtree, GVC Australia, H & M, H&R Block, Hewlett-Packard, Hillside Australia New Media, Hisense, Hitachi Australia, Holden, HSBC, IBM Australia, ING, Inpex, Intuit, Isaacson Davis Foundation, Itochu Australia, Janssen-Cilag, JB Hi-Fi, Jefferies LLC, JP Morgan Chase, Kathmandu, Kering, KFC, King & Wood Mallesons, Kirkland Lake Gold, Klarna, KPMG, La Trobe Financial, Laing O'Rourke, Laser Clinics Australia, Lendlease, Liberty Financial, Lion, Loan Market Group, L’Oréal Australia, Mapletree Investments, Mastercard, Maurice Blackburn, Mazda Foundation, McDonalds, Mecca Brands, Medicines Australia, Melbourne Cricket Club, Mercer, Merrimac Middle East, Michael Hill Jeweller, Michael Kors, Microsoft, Mirvac, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mortgage and Finance Industry Collective, Mortgage Choice, Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia, MSN, MTR Corporation, Munro Footwear, NAB, NCL Australia, Newmont Mining, Next, Nippon Paint, Nomad Restaurant, Oceania Cruises & Regent Seven Seas Cruises, OneBookShelf, Oracle, Origin Energy, Packer Family Foundation, Paphitis Foundation, Paul Ramsay Foundation, PEXA, Pickles Auctions, Posco, Priceline (Australian Pharmaceutical Industries), PVH, PWC Foundation Trust, Qantas, QBE, REA Group, Real Estate Industry Collective - Beyond the Bricks, Relief Runs, Revlo, Rio Tinto, Roche, Salesforce, Samsung, Sanofi, SAP Australia, Scenic Tours, Serendipity Software, Shell, Singapore Airlines, Society of Women Leaders, Sonic Healthcare, South32, Sportsbet, Sumitomo Corporation, Suncorp, Suntory, Super Retail Group, Supercell Oy, Swisse, Sydney Airport, Tabcorp, TAL Community Foundation, TEG Dainty, Telstra, Tennis Australia, Tetra Pak, The Ernest Heine Family Foundation, The Intrepid Foundation, The KDB Group, The Stan Perron Charitable Foundation, The Trustee for JLT, Ticketmaster, TikTok, TK Maxx, Transurban, Uber, UBS Australia, UFC, Uniqlo, United States Tennis Association, UTC Australia, Vodafone Australia Foundation, Western Union Foundation, Woodside Energy, Xero, YUM! Brands, Z Zurich Foundation.

Those whose invaluable in-kind support helped keep costs low

King & Wood Mallesons, EY, Accenture, Microsoft, Deloitte, KPMG, MSJ, Land Rover and HWL Ebsworth, among so many others

Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies who donated funds

American Red Cross, Austrian Red Cross, Red Cross Society of Azerbaijan, Belgian Red Cross Society, British Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross Society, Czech Red Cross, Cyprus Red Cross Society, Danish Red Cross, Estonian Red Cross, French Red Cross, German Red Cross, Hong Kong Branch of Chinese Red Cross, Icelandic Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Irish Red Cross Society, Italian Red Cross, Kiribati Red Cross Society, The Republic of Korea National Red Cross, Latvian Red Cross, Mongolian Red Cross Society, New Zealand Red Cross, Palau Red Cross Society, Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society, Philippine Red Cross, Polish Red Cross, Red Cross Society of China (Taiwan Red Cross Organisation), Singapore Red Cross Society, Spanish Red Cross, Swedish Red Cross, Swiss Red Cross, Thai Red Cross Society, The Netherlands Red Cross, Tuvalu Red Cross Society, Vanuatu Red Cross Society

Governments who supported the response

Government of Tuvalu, Government of the Republic of Korea, Government of the Republic of Estonia, Government of Mongolia