Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Our response to the bushfires: 3 Jan 2020

Learn what Red Cross is doing to support communities affected by this summer's bushfires and how your donations are helping.

This photo was taken on New Year’s Eve in Berrara, New South Wales looking across Cudmirrah Lake at bushfires in Currowan. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Sarah Gallagher


Red Cross teams provided emergency assistance, psychosocial first aid and practical support, as well as greeting people evacuated by air and sea, and helping reconnect families. They also carried out recovery assessments and in Victoria distributed food and water. Our teams were on ground in multiple locations across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

In New South Wales more than 90 Red Cross personnel supported people at 61 evacuation centres. In Victoria more than 130 Red Cross personnel worked in emergency relief centres and the operations centre. Our teams got ready to support people who are being evacuated by air and sea.

We started a program of emergency grants to people who have lost their homes.

On New Year’s Eve we launched a donation drive in partnership with the ABC and the City of Sydney. The drive rasied money for our Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund which helps support people affected by disasters, including those impacted by the current bushfires. The donation drive closed on midnight on 4 January and raised a total of $13.3 million.

This week in numbers

  • Supported people in 69 recovery and relief centres across VIC, NSW and SA

  • More than 15,500 people helped since July

  • Almost 23,000 people registered through Register.Find.Reunite and we have received more than 4,500 enquiries

  • 1,285 volunteers and staff deployed since July

  • Responded to more than 27 emergencies, mostly fires or heatwaves since July

Answers to your questions

What’s the best way to help? Why don’t we receive and distribute donated goods? And how are your donations making an impact?

How people across Australia are rallying to help

People, your generosity and enthusiasm to help has floored us as Australia copes with one of the worst bushfire seasons on record.

Organise your own fundraiser

The funds you raise for Disaster Relief and Recovery will support our teams responding to the current fires, as well as disasters yet to come.

Resources to help you

If you want to prepare for disasters, have experienced a disaster or are recovering from a disaster, we have lots of resources that can help.


For people affected by the bushfires in VIC, NSW, WA and SA. Register to let people know you're okay. Find family and friends who have registered.

Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund

Your donation helps Red Cross give people the support they need in disasters, whenever and wherever they happen.


More on the Emergency Services blog

Climate Changed Me

My name is Peg Fraser. I’m a historian and an Australian Red Cross volunteer, and this is my story.

Australian Bushfires

Report: January 2020–June 2021

Mt Beauty’s journey of resilience

After 2020’s devastating bushfires, the community of Mt Beauty has come together to recover – and get better prepared for the next disaster.